OHS Canada Magazine

Alberta road construction company ordered to pay $295,000 in wake of workplace fatality

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March 14, 2024
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety

A construction worker controls traffic. Photo: Rose Makin/Adobe Stock

A paving and road construction company has been ordered to pay $295,000 after one of its workers was killed on the job, with the bulk of the money being directed to the Alberta Construction Safety Association and a local fire department.

Smith Group Holdings Ltd. and subsidiary Brooks Asphalt & Aggregate Ltd. were jointly charged with 15 counts under occupational health and safety (OHS) laws.

On March 6 in the Brooks Court of Justice, Brooks Asphalt & Aggregate Ltd. pleaded guilty to one charge under the OHS Act for failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker. The other charges against Brooks Asphalt & Aggregate Ltd. and all charges against Smith Group Holdings Ltd. were withdrawn.

The charges stem from an incident on a road construction site in the County of Newell on July 23, 2021. A worker was asphyxiated while cleaning out a gravel bin with a running conveyor.

The company will pay $295,000 in total penalties, including a $1,000 fine. Under a creative sentence, $244,000 will be provided to the Alberta Construction Safety Association to develop a three-dimensional incident re-creation video, a series of learning videos, a toolbox talk resource guide and a safety session open to all industries. The remaining $50,000 will be provided to the Brooks Fire Department to purchase new rescue equipment.


The OHS Act provides a creative sentence option in which funds that would otherwise be paid as fines are directed to an organization or project, to improve or promote workplace health and safety.

Both the company and the Crown have up to 30 days to appeal the conviction or penalty.


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