Gateway Gazette

Safety Inspectors Return To Gravel Crushing Sites

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officers are again inspecting sand and gravel crushing worksites to determine whether the industry has improved its health and safety record.

This focused inspection builds on last year’s campaign when OHS officers visited 64 sand and gravel crushing worksites in eight weeks. The most common, and most concerning, violation found during that campaign related to inadequate equipment guards.

This year, officers can issue tickets to employers and workers for specific violations – an enforcement tool that was not available last year. OHS tickets are immediate, on-the-spot fines of up to $500 that can be issued to workers or employers. OHS can also issue administrative penalties to employers who show chronic disregard for workplace health and safety.

“These inspections will shine a light on sand and gravel operators. I’m hopeful we’ll see improvement over last year’s performance, but recent tragedies certainly raise the question whether that’s the case.

“OHS officers will be educating operators and enforcing the law where required. Our job is to make sure worksites are putting people first by protecting workers.”

~ Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour

Officers will be looking for:

  • employers who haven’t addressed worksite hazards;
  • workers who do not hold all the necessary certifications;
  • workers not wearing personal protective equipment;
  • worksites without proper safeguards, such as equipment guarding on gravel conveyors; and
  • workers not properly operating equipment.

There have been two fatalities at gravel crushing operations in Alberta this year. Inspectors are visiting crushing sites across the province from now through September. Officers will continue random inspections throughout the year.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta’s resources to ensure we’re able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

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