On March 26, 2004, in Edmonton, an employee of Standard General Inc. was seriously injured when a recycle bin "grizzly" fell on him. A recycle bin grizzly, which weights about 2,200 pounds, is a steel grate that fits over the recycle bin to screen large chunks of concrete.
After a provincial government investigation, Standard General has been charged with:
- Failing to ensure the health and safety of the worker;
- Failing to conduct a hazard assessment to identify potential hazards;
- Failing to establish an effective means of communication with a worker who was required to work alone;
- Failing to ensure machinery was used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications; and
- Failing to ensure the worker was trained in the safe operation of the equipment.
The company has been summoned to appear in Edmonton Provincial Court on May 16.
To improve workplace safety, the government of Alberta has increased penalties for violations, hired additional safety officers, recognized the province's safest employers and promoted workplace safety awareness.
The maximum penalty for a first offense under the Occupational Health and Safety Act is $500,000 (U.S. $428,431) and/or 6 months in prison for each charge. For subsequent offenses, the maximum fine is $1 million (U.S. $856,861) and/or 12 months in prison.