Petronas and Canadian Natural Resources were each fined over $250,000 for workplace incidents in the Peace.

Canadian Natural Resources was fined $253,424.18 after a worker died at a wellsite in Buick Creek, and Petronas will pay $254,697.68 after its Groundbirch worksite failed a health and safety inspection.

The incident in Buick Creek was the result of a beam falling on the worker. According to WorkSafe BC, two workers from a subcontractor’s firm were removing a nut from an out-of-service pumpjack horsehead. As the nut was being loosened, the horsehead and a heavy walking beam collapsed, and the beam fell onto one of the workers.

WorkSafeBC’s investigation determined that a safety bar “that would have prevented the horsehead from inadvertent movement had been removed, and its absence had not been identified by a worksite inspection.”

WorkSafe says CNRL, who was the prime contractor, also didn’t conduct a hazard assessment for the work task, and did not ensure the subcontractor handled its own assessment.

“The firm failed to ensure energy sources were isolated and controlled and failed to ensure safe work procedures were implemented for work activities that could create a hazard to the worker. These were both high-risk violations,” read a WorkSafe report.

WorkSafe says CNRL also didn’t ensure its occupational health and safety program included inspections at appropriate intervals to identify hazardous conditions.

“In addition, as prime contractor of a multiple-employer workplace, the firm failed to do everything reasonably practicable to ensure a system of regulatory compliance.”

CNRL received the fine on June 24th, the day before the Petronas’ fine was imposed.

WorkSafe BC inspected the Groundbirch pipeline worksite, where Petronas was the prime contractor and observed “multiple deficiencies in the firm’s health and safety practices.” These include deficiencies related to dangerous trees, first aid, and traffic control.

According to the WorkSafe report, Petronas failed to conduct an assessment for the site and keep up-to-date written first aid procedures.

“In addition, the firm failed to ensure the health and safety of all workers at its worksite, and as prime contractor failed to do everything reasonable to establish a system of regulatory compliance. These were all repeated violations.”

 Xtreme Oilfield Technology, a subcontractor on the Buick Creek wellsite, was fined $2,500.