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Construction company and supervisor fined for workplace death

The construction company Volker Stevin Contracting Ltd. and a company supervisor, Micheal O’Neill, were convicted on June 20 in the workplace death of Habtom Abraha that occurred on October 2, 2019.
calgary provincial court

The construction company Volker Stevin Contracting Ltd. and a company supervisor, Micheal O’Neill, were convicted on June 20 in the workplace death of Habtom Abraha that occurred on October 2, 2019. Volker Stevin and O’Neill will have to pay fines totalling $546,000. 

Abraha, a Calgary construction worker who worked for Volker Stevin, was struck by a truck and killed on October 2, 2019, while conducting a routine inspection of a storm drain catch basin on a residential street in Airdrie. 

Abraha was crouched over the storm drain when he was hit by a company pickup truck driven by O’Neill. The 38-year-old male was killed instantly, RCMP stated at the time.

According to court documents, O’Neill and Abraha arrived at their worksite and parked the company’s Ford F-550 truck in front of a private driveway beside a storm drain.

While O’Neill remained on a phone call in the truck, Abraha got out, grabbed his tools, and began inspecting the storm drain in front of the truck. Then, the homeowner arrived and opened his garage door. 

In court documents, it is stated that O’Neill was distracted by the call and did not want to inconvenience the homeowner trying to get into his garage.

During his court appearance in April, O’Neill stated that he did not know that Abraha had started working when he drove the truck two metres forward, striking Abraha, who sustained lethal fractures to his skull. 

Under Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHA) Act, Volker Stevin was convicted for “failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker and under the OHS Code for permitting a worker to remain within range of moving equipment.” The company was fined a total of $480,000 including the 20 per cent victim fine surcharge.

O’Neill was convicted under the OHS Act for “failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker and under the OHS Code for exposing a worker to danger from moving equipment.” He was fined a total of $66,000 including the 20 per cent victim fine surcharge.

 


Riley Stovka

About the Author: Riley Stovka

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