Barry Group handed fines

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

A Cor­ner Brook based fish pro­cess­ing com­pany has been levied a se­ries of fines for oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety vi­o­la­tions in con­nec­tion with a near-tragic in­ci­dent on a wharf in Har­bour Grace nearly three years ago.

Barry Group Inc. was or­dered to pay fines, sur­charges and com­pli­ance or­ders to­talling more than $45,000 dur­ing a sen­tenc­ing hear­ing in Har­bour Grace provin­cial court on June 25. Judge Jac­que­line Brazil presided over the high pro­file case.

The com­pany en­tered guilty pleas to the fol­low­ing two charges on April 16:

1. fail­ing to en­sure the de­sign, fab­ri­ca­tion, use, in­spec­tion and main­te­nance of mo­bile equip­ment — a fork­lift — met proper safety stan­dards;

2. and for fail­ing to en­sure em­ploy­ees were not ex­posed to un­safe health or safety con­di­tions.

Two other charges were with­drawn, while a charge against a com­pany su­per­vi­sor was also dis­missed.

Ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, the com­pany was fined $10,000 and or­dered to pay a vic­tim fine sur­charge of $1,500 on Count 1.

On Count 2, it was fined $25,000 and will pay a $3,750 vic­tim sur­charge.

Judge Brazil also is­sued a com­pli­ance or­der that the com­pany in­vest some $5,000 for safety train­ing and other oc­cu­pa­tional im­prove­ments.

Fish­er­man Ran­dell Drover of Up­per Is­land Cove was nearly killed when a fork­lift backed over him as crab was be­ing off­loaded from his ves­sel on Aug. 13, 2010. The fork­lift was owned and op­er­ated by the Barry Group.

Drover suf­fered se­ri­ous head in­juries, spent many months in hos­pi­tal and a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre, and is un­able to re­turn to his oc­cu­pa­tion.

“He can’t put his seat­belt on by him­self,” Jan­ice Drover, Ran­dell’s wife of 41 years, told The Com­pass in April.

Ran­dell turns 65 on July 30, and had a rep­u­ta­tion as a re­source­ful, hard-work­ing fish­er­man prior to the mishap.

Drover suf­fered bleeds on the brain, a bro­ken jaw­bone and a frac­tured skull. He also de­vel­oped lung prob­lems, and was on life-sup­port for 42 days.

He spent many months in hos­pi­tal, re­cov­er­ing from his in­juries, and med­i­cal ex­perts de­scribed him as a “walk­ing mir­a­cle.”

He now re­ceives work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion ben­e­fits, and has trans­ferred own­er­ship of his fish­ing en­ter­prise to his two sons and son-in-law, said Jan­ice.

The fam­ily was un­able to sue the compa- ny, Jan­ice ex­plained, be­cause Ran­dell was con­sid­ered an em­ployee.

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