On April 15 in the Peace River Court of Justice, Boucher Bros. Lumber Ltd. pleaded guilty to one charge under the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act for failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker. The Crown withdrew 11 other charges under OHS legislation.

The charges stem from an incident at a Nampa lumber and building supplies business on Sept. 28, 2022. A worker was injured when the worker’s hand contacted the blades of a wood planer.

Under a creative sentence, the company will pay $102,000 to the Alberta Forest Products Association for a mill safety education campaign that includes developing a series of safety education videos aimed at the lumber industry.

The OHS Act provides a creative sentence option in which funds that would otherwise be paid as fines are directed to an organization or project to improve or promote workplace health and safety.

Both the company and the Crown have up to 30 days to appeal the conviction or penalty.

Alberta’s OHS laws set basic health and safety rules for the province’s workplaces. They provide guidance for employers to help them ensure their workplaces are as healthy and safe as possible while providing rights and protections for workers. Charges under OHS laws may be laid when failing to follow the rules results in a workplace fatality or serious injury.

Quick facts

  • Jobs, Economy and Trade does not provide sentence documents. These are available through the Peace River Court of Justice.
  • Victim fine surcharges are added to fines payable to the Crown. Surcharges are not applied to payments to other entities under creative sentences.

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