Northwest Territories construction company charged in worker death


Ontario Construction News staff writer

A construction company in the Northwest Territories has been fined $100,000 after a worker was killed at a site outside Fort Simpson in 2020.

Nogha Enterprises Ltd. pleaded guilty to two offences under the territory’s Safety Act. Along with the fine, it will be put on probation for two years, which includes a requirement to develop and implement a safety program for operators of powered mobile equipment.

Judge Stephanie Whitecloud-Brass described the incident as “nothing short of tragic.” She accepted the joint submission from prosecutor Roger Shepard and defense attorney Christopher Buchanan, which recommended the $100,000 fine.

The territorial Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission originally filed nine charges against the company in December 2021.

In December 2020, Claude Fontaine was digging a pit with an excavator at a gravel quarry when a side wall collapsed and the machine slid into the pit, where the worker drowned.

According to a joint statement of facts submitted to the court, at the time of the incident, the ground was sagging, and Fontaine was digging at a depth of 23 feet. The recovery mission took several days to complete.

The additional seven charges against the company have been withdrawn.



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