August 14, 2019
The City of Edmonton has been sentenced to a penalty of $325,000 following a 2016 workplace fatality. The penalty includes a creative sentence of $240,000 which is intended to provide additional safety training for municipal workers in Alberta, especially those working underground.
In 2016, City drainage worker Saturnino Sonson was fatally injured in a tunneling incident.
“The death of our former colleague was tragic, and we are sorry that his family, friends and colleagues faced such a heavy loss,” said Kim Armstrong, Acting City Manager. “We have learned from this tragic incident, and have strengthened our health and safety commitment, programs and oversight.”
The funds from the creative sentence are intended to support work by the Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association to enhance confined space, ground disturbance and operator safety courses. New materials in both online and classroom courses will focus on conducting formal and field-level hazard assessments for tunnelling, boring and trenching operations, communicating complex safety information in the field during high-risk operations, and understanding safety aspects of specific types of equipment.
This new training will better prepare employers and workers across the province to safely install water and wastewater systems, construct rapid transit underground systems and trench roadways.