Former potash company Agrium has been ordered to pay $490,000 after accepting responsibility for an accident at the Vanscoy mine that left a worker with serious injuries.
The company pleaded guilty to one charge under Occupational Health and Safety regulations on Wednesday in Saskatoon Provincial Court.
The incident occurred at Agrium’s mine near Vanscoy on August 21, 2016 when a worker was struck in the abdomen by a cable that wasn’t secured.
The company was fined $350,000 plus a surcharge of $140,000. One additional charge was withdrawn.
It’s the largest fine ever to be handed down in the province since the government began tracking penalties in 2007.
The fine doesn’t go far enough for the United Steelworkers (USW), which warned other employers the union will aggressively pursue cases of workplace health and safety failings
“While this appears to be the largest fine in Saskatchewan history for workplace safety violations, it needs to be followed up with real action to hold Agrium accountable and ensure that there are no future lives lost or changed forever,” said Darrin Kruger, USW staff representative and former president of USW Local 7552.
The non-fatal incident occurred only two weeks after USW member Chad Wiklun was killed while working in the same mine.
“There still has been no justice and no accountability for the death of Chad Wiklun. It’s simply unconscionable that Agrium has not been made to answer for that terrible tragedy,” Kruger said.
Agrium officially merged with PotashCorp to become Nutrien in January.