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CNRL, Contractor Charged With Safety Violations In Fatality

Canadian Natural Resources Limited and a contractor, Clayton Construction of Lloydminster, are facing charges under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act in the death of a Clayton employee in a tailings pond near Fort McMurray two years ago.

Rick Boughner died in September 2008 when the floating excavator he was using to clear debris from the pond tipped over and trapped him underneath.

CNRL company faces two charges relate to failing to ensure the company it has contracted follows safety rules, Chris Chodan, a department spokesman, said this morning. The company was not available for comment.

The charges against Clayton include failing to maintain the health and safety of worker; failing to ensure equipment used in a worksite is maintained in a condition that it will not comprise the health of safety of a worker using it; failing to ensure that a worker is trained in the safe operation of the equipment he is required to operate; failing to identify existing or potential hazards to workers and taking measures to eliminate or control the hazards; failing to ensure equipment is operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and ensuring that powered mobile equipment is inspected by a competent (trained) worker for hazardous defects.

CNRL along with two Chinese contractors earlier faced occupational health and safety charges in connection with an incident in 2007 at the Horizon oilsands project. Two temporary foreign workers from China died and two others were seriously when the roof of a steel oil storage tank being constructed, collapsed. The workers were welding the wall structure inside the tank when the roof support structure collapsed onto them.

CNRL, Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Company Ltd., and SSEC Canada Ltd. face numerous charges including several counts of failing to ensure the health and safety of the workers.