City of Iqaluit, two employees face multiple Safety Act charges
Allegations flow from incident in which city worker was run over by a garbage truck
The City of Iqaluit and two of its employees now face multiple charges under the Safety Act, following an investigation by the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission that started in April 2016 after a city worker was run over by garbage truck.
Here’s who faces charges:
• the City of Iqaluit;
• Keith Baines, a supervisor; and,
• Ben Kovic, Jr., a worker.
The WSCC filed the charges with the Nunavut Court of Justice on Jan. 27. The first court appearance in the matter is scheduled for March 16.
“The multiple counts allege various offences of the Safety Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, including failure to maintain an establishment in such a manner as to ensure the health and safety of persons, in accordance with section 4(1)(a) of the Safety Act,” the WSCC said Jan. 30 in a media release.
The charges flow from an incident on April 18, 2016, when a garbage truck driver drove over city worker James Dorrington at the Iqaluit dump, causing serious injuries.
About a week later, that led to an uproar at Iqaluit City Council when councillors complained city administrators failed to inform them about the incident.
Coun. Terry Dobbin said in an interview on April 26, 2016 that he believed Dorrington was underneath the truck trying to pull out a piece of plastic stuck in the vehicle’s undercarriage, and that the driver did not appear to know Dorrington was there.
On July 19 and July 20, the WSCC executed a search warrant at the City of Iqaluit.
According to an evidence log filed at the Nunavut court, they seized vehicle maintenance records, training certificates, daily logs, video surveillance, performance reviews, driving licenses and employee files.
The WSCC also warned all employers to be aware of their work site responsibilities, include providing a safe workplace and providing information, instruction, training, and supervision to protect the health and safety of workers.
“At all times, employers must ensure that workers under their supervision comply with the Safety Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations,” the agency said.
“Workers are also reminded of their responsibility to ensure their own safety, and the safety of other persons on the work site, as part of the Internal Responsibility System.”
The allegations contained in the WSCC’s search warrant application, and the allegations that form the basis of the charges laid against the city and the two employees have yet to be proven in court.