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Two Ontario firms fined $100K for worker's death

By COS staff
| www.cos-mag.com

Moosonee, ON — Moose Band Development Corporation was fined $65,000 yesterday for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused a worker to be killed. Daak Enterprises Ltd. was fined $35,000 in relation to the same incident, according to a report from the Ministry of Labour.

On March 13, 2007, a new power line was being built for a diamond mine north of Attawapiskat. Moose Band Development had been hired to cut trees to accommodate the new power line. Moose Band Development contracted Daak Enterprises to provide a feller buncher, a vehicle that cuts and gathers trees. The vehicle was composed of a cab on crawler tracks with a sawing apparatus, or feller head, attached to a moveable arm. Daak Enterprises also provided an operator for the vehicle.

About 30 kilometers outside Moosonee, the feller buncher operator had problems with the vehicle's saw. A repair crew from Moose Band Development went to help. While attempting to fix the vehicle, a member of the repair crew was pinned between the vehicle's feller head and its tracks. The worker was killed.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the vehicle's arm and feller head were never secured in place to prevent movement during the repair.

Moose Band Development Corporation and Daak Enterprises Ltd. both pleaded guilty, as employers, to failing to ensure that a blocking system was installed on the feller buncher when it was being repaired.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Alex Spence.  In addition to the fines, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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