Charges laid in workplace death of Prince Albert man

Jared Moffatt, 34, was killed in a workplace accident in June 2017. Photo via GoFundMe.

Two companies and an individual have been charged with violations of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in connection with a 2017 incident that killed a Prince Albert man.

On June 7, the Newfoundland government announced charges resulting from an investigation into the June 19, 2017 incident, which occurred near Come By Chance, NL on a transmission line being built between Bay d’Espoir and Western Avalon.

Jared Moffatt, a 34-year-old man from Prince Albert, and Tim McLean, 31 of Nipigon, Ont., were killed when a transmission tower they were working on collapsed.

Charges were laid last Friday against Forbes Bros. Ltd., which employed both men. The company has been hit with seven accusations of breaching violations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including failing to:

  • ensure the health and safety of its workers
  • provide the necessary information, instruction, training and supervision to its workers
  • ensure its workers and supervisors were made aware of the hazards
  • protect those not in their employ
  • include written work procedures appropriate to the hazards in its OHS program
  • ensure work procedures promoted the safe interaction of workers and their work environment and
  • ensure written rescue procedures were implemented

In addition, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, the principal contractor was charged with one could of failing to ensure that an employer and worker comply with the OHS Act and Regulations. A Forbes Bros. supervisor was charged with one count of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers under his supervision.

A first court appearance is scheduled for July 4, 2019, at the provincial court in Clarenville.

When reached by phone, Forbes Bros. Ltd. spokesperson Corey Papp declined to comment as the case is before the courts. He said the company is reviewing the charges and assessing its next steps.

In the days following the incident, Forbes Bros. Ltd provided opportunities for families and for employees to have access to counselling. It also held a company-wide moment of silence.

On its website, Forbes Bros. identifies itself as the largest privately held power line construction group, focused on building high-voltage systems across North America and the world. The company has three offices in Alberta, along with locations in Newfoundland and Labrador, Winnipeg and Prince Albert.