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Media Release: Tower Arctic Ltd. sentenced for offences under the Nunavut Safety Act

22nd Dec 2020

Iqaluit, NU (December 22, 2020) – On December 14, 2020, Tower Arctic Ltd. appeared in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit and was sentenced for an offence under the Nunavut Safety Act.

The Prosecutor and Counsel for Tower Arctic Ltd. jointly proposed a sentence of a fine of $75,000.00. The Judge accepted the sentencing proposal, along with a victim fine surcharge pursuant to the Nunavut Victim of Crimes Act.

The conviction stems from an incident in the Municipality of Pond Inlet, Nunavut at the Tower Arctic Shop/Garage work site on September 19, 2018.

An Agreed Statement of Facts (ASF) submitted by the WSCC and Tower Arctic indicated that injuries occurred when a new employee was operating a hand held grinder to cut open a metal barrel. The barrel had been scavenged from the Pond Inlet Municipal Dump and had combustible residue in the interior. Sparks from the grinder ignited the residue, causing an explosion. The ASF states that the employee had not completed a required safety orientation and that a hazard assessment had not been completed for the task which would have identified the combustible residue.

According to the ASF, Tower Arctic was cooperative throughout the investigation and has subsequently taken steps to enhance worker safety.

On October 6, 2020, Tower Arctic Ltd. entered a guilty plea on one count of failing to comply with section 4(1)(b) of the Safety Act which requires that:

4. (1) Every employer shall:
(b) take all reasonable precautions and adopt and carry out all reasonable techniques and procedures to ensure the health and safety of every person in his or her establishment.

Employers must ensure workers are properly trained in using equipment safely and understanding its potential hazards. Employers must also ensure workers are aware of their rights and know how to exercise them. Visit the WSCC’s website for more information on Employers’ Rights and Responsibilities and Workers’ Rights and Responsibilities.

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Heidi Held
Acting Manager, Communications
Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission Northwest Territories and Nunavut
T: (867) 920-3839
E: Heidi Held