By January 2, 2018 Read More →

Alberta Labour charges Nexen for 2016 double fatality explosion


Long Lake oil sands plant. Nexen photo.

Drew Foster, 52, of Niagara Falls, ON pronounced dead at scene and David Williams, 30, of Scotchtown, NS later died in hospital

On Dec 19, Nexen Energy was charged with eight offences under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, after two workers died as a result of an explosion at the company’s Long Lake upgrader near Anzac, according to Alberta Labour.

The men were performing building maintenance duties in the hydrogen Compressor Building on Jan. 15 2016. The charges have not yet been proven in court.

Nicole Appleton with Alberta Labour says the company is to appear in Fort McMurray provincial court Feb. 14.

Ron Bailey, head of Canadian operations, said the internal Nexen investigation found the explosion was caused by staff doing work they weren’t supposed to be doing, according to a CBC story.

“Our investigation indicates that the incident was a result of work being performed outside the scope of approved work activities,” Bailey said at a news conference held by the company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

A few of the charges are related to ensuring a compressor being properly serviced and the staff in charge of the machine reading its operating manual and safety rules.

Foster’s mother Claire Poulton in an interview with CBC said she’s relieved that Nexen is being held accountable.

“I am really happy. It was the best Christmas present that I had for a long time to hear that. I want David and Drew to have their day in court. I want the responsibility put where it belongs,” said Poulton.

Posted in: Canada

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