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Two other charges were withdrawn, while a charge against a company supervisor was also dismissed.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