Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Writing to Alberta Connects about OHS report on fatalities at the CNRL Horizon Oil Sands Project in 2007--------Horizon facility OHS report (AC427337)

Hi,

I am writing about the Horizon tank fatalities.

 I have read about the work done by APEGA and the GOA after this incident here and I have several questions about what I read in the Calgary Herald article here:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/cnrl+still+working+improve+standards+after+deadly+2007+horizon/12644946/story.html
CNRL still working to improve standards after deadly 2007 Horizon oilsands tank roof collapse


1) Why did the OHS report take 9 years to be released to the public?

2) Where can the public access this report on the GOA website?

3) Why were all charges against the three companies stayed except for three charges against SSEC Canada when all three companies were culpable in causing these fatalities?

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/02/10/news/report-crushed-workers-prompts-review-oil-sands-company-engineering-permit
All 29 charges related to the case against CNRL were stayed, the CBC reported earlier this week. Charges against a Chinese contractor, Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Ltd. were withdrawn, while a third Chinese contractor, SSEC Canada, pleaded guilty for failing to protect a worker’s health and safety and paid $200,000 in fines, the CBC also reported. The third contractor also contributed $1.3 million to the Alberta Law Foundation, the broadcaster said in its report.

******
4) What were the three charges that remain of the 53 charges initially issued?  It seems very odd to me that 53 charges against three companies would devolve to 3 charges against the most minor of the three companies.

 Does this sort of pruning of charges  occur in other work place incidents?

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/cnrl+still+working+improve+standards+after+deadly+2007+horizon/12644946/story.html

OHS laid 53 charges against CNRL, SSEC Canada and Sinopec in June 2009. All but three charges against SSEC Canada were withdrawn three years later. SSEC Canada pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of its workers, and in 2013 paid fines totalling $1.5 million.
***

4) Why did Alberta Labor not ask for full fatality inquiries for the dead men? I note that this is possible. Instead apparently there is now a fatality inquiry limited to air ambulance questions as noted here:

http://cpcml.ca/AW2016/AW0204.HTM
Oil Sands Monopoly Blocks Full Inquiry
into the Deaths of Two Workers

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) has succeeded in derailing a full public inquiry into the death of two workers in 2007 during the construction of the Horizon project. Two temporary foreign workers, Genbao Ge and Hongliang Lui, were killed and four other workers injured, when a tank collapsed during construction. The Fatality Inquiry will now be limited to the single question of whether air ambulance transportation to hospital would have saved the life of one of the workers.

Horizon Oil Sands site as seen in 2012. (The Interior)
The decision was announced following a teleconference involving Judge J. R. Jacques of the Alberta provincial court in Fort McMurray with lawyers for CNRL and Alberta Justice. CNRL owns the Horizon oil sands mine and upgrader, as well as extensive holdings in conventional oil and natural gas in Alberta, the North Sea and offshore in West Africa. The decision to limit the inquiry is all the more alarming given that 11 workers have died at CNRL in the past decade. [1]
A full Fatality Inquiry would have presented an opportunity to fully examine why the two workers died, including examining witnesses under oath. But the judge agreed with the CNRL lawyer that the causes of the accident had already been investigated and no further inquiry was needed. This decision ignores the fact that witnesses have never been questioned under oath. There are serious discrepancies between the initial report by Workplace Health and Safety and the "agreed upon statement of facts" submitted when the subcontractor entered a guilty plea, and many unanswered questions.

****
 I mean I can understand limiting the fatality inquiry when the PCs were in charge but not when the NDP folks are in charge.

Surely the NDP folks who are all for the ordinary workers would want to have the full story of how two innocent men died out in the public realm?

Or are the NDP folks in government -- just like the PC folks in government-- in wanting to ensure that the public reputation of the oil and gas industry be "best in the world"?

Why did Christina Gray not live the NDP values and demand full public inquiries into the deaths of both these men?



5) What is being done by the GOA (OHS) to protect workers from incompetence at the work sites in Alberta now that y'all know about the incompetence based on the OHS report and the revised (second) APEGA report which also seems to be more robust now due to new practices by APEGA no doubt in reaction to it's failures in the first review?

I mean we can't depend on professional associations since they are only interested (it seems to me) in maintaining the professional image of the association and when that fails in doing the least possible to ensure that they don't look bad to the public when we find out that they are whitewashing problems of engineers in the work they do.

It seems that APEGA only does a proper review and no investigation when it is forced to do it in response to a damning OHS report.  I am curious why the OHS report would be needed to prompt the APEGA folks to do their job.

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/02/10/news/report-crushed-workers-prompts-review-oil-sands-company-engineering-permit
“The way that APEGA did business then is different than the way we do business now,” said Mulder. “The understanding at that time was that we didn't have jurisdiction. We subsequently have come to the understanding that we think we do, but that’s transpired over that period of nine years or so.”


****

I will have more detailed questions once I receive the answers to these questions.,

At this time can you tell me what the status of my request for the fatality reports on citizens killed in police contact is? I am still waiting for these fatality reports as noted here:




From: Ministry of Justice <ministryofjustice@gov.ab.ca>
Date: Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 10:42 AM
Subject: Re: Fatality Reports
To: 
Cc: Office of the Premier <Premier@gov.ab.ca>


PCU 94078

Dear Ms. Ali:

The Honourable Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta, has forwarded me a copy of your follow-up to Ms. Jennifer Fuchinsky’s email response to you regarding removal of fatality reports from the government website.  Premier Rachel Notley has reviewed your correspondence and has asked that I respond on her behalf in my role as Minister of Alberta Justice and Solicitor General.

In an email from Jennifer Fuchinsky’s dated October 5, 2016, you were advised that in order to keep the Justice and Solicitor General website up-to-date and to provide an optimum user experience, we review the site’s information for how recent it is.  Due to the volume of fatality inquiry reports, we only keep those from the last two years on our website.

You were also advised that there was a project in the works to eventually place all fatality inquiry reports online.  I am pleased to inform you that this project is now underway and reports pre-dating those on the Justice and Solicitor General website will be uploaded to the Open Government website on an ongoing basis.  You can access these reports at the following web address:  http://open.alberta.ca/dataset?tags=public+fatality+inquiries&sort=createdate+asc

Fatality inquiry reports are distributed to the parties involved in the inquiry and to those who may be impacted by recommendations.  The Government of Alberta does not follow up on recommendations as it is these parties who have the authority and responsibility to determine whether recommendations are appropriate to be implemented.

When recommendations are directed at a ministry of the Government of Alberta it is the sole responsibility of that ministry to review and determine how or whether it is feasible to implement recommendations in whole, or in part.

Thank you for writing to share your concerns with our government and I hope that this information is helpful.

Sincerely,




Kathleen Ganley
Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

cc:        Honourable Rachel Notley
            Premier of Alberta

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. 


 charges were dropped against some of the companies. Is this a regular thing? What then is the point of doing OHS investigations if everyone turns out to be innocent even when they are not?
It is also troubling that the full fatality inquiry won't be done on the deaths of these poor men. I don't agree with the truncating of the inquiry to the question of just the air ambulance service role in the deaths. I mean wasn't it because of the roof collapsing that these men died? Why isn't this the primary focus of the inquiry? It's very troubling and I see no where in this mess the prints of the federal government. Why isn't the federal government protecting these foreign workers when it seems that the provinces (at least Alberta) is perfectly fine with disposing of them in this manner?
LikeShow more reactions
Comment
Comments
Julie Ali
Write a comment...

From: <AlbertaConnects@gov.ab.ca>
Date: Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 6:09 PM
Subject: RE: Horizon facility OHS report (AC427337)
To:


**********This is an automatically generated email, please do not reply to this email. **********

Thank you for asking a question or sharing your thoughts with the Government of Alberta. We try to respond to all questions within 3 working days. If you need to visit us again, please visit Alberta.ca
Stay in touch

This site is frequently updated to provide you with important information about Alberta programs and services. It's also an opportunity for you to provide your government with feedback on the issues that concern you. Please visit our site again soon to read an article, or send a comment. Internet: Alberta.ca 
(AC427337)

Your message was
--
Horizon facility OHS report
Hi, I am writing about the Horizon tank fatalities. I have read about the work done by APEGA and the GOA after this incident here and I have several questions about what I read in the Calgary Herald article here: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/local- news/cnrl+still+working+improve+standards+after+deadly+2007+horizon/12644946/story.html CNRL still working to improve standards after deadly 2007 Horizon oilsands tank roof collapse 1) Why did the OHS report take 9 years to be released to the public? 2) Where can the public access this report on the GOA website? 3) Why were all charges against the three companies stayed except for three charges against SSEC Canada when all three companies were culpable in causing these fatalities? http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/02/10/news/report-crushed-workers-prompts-review-oil- sands-company-engineering-permit All 29 charges related to the case against CNRL were stayed, the CBC reported earlier this week. Charges against a Chinese contractor, Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Ltd. were withdrawn, while a third Chinese contractor, SSEC Canada, pleaded guilty for failing to protect a worker’s health and safety and paid $200,000 in fines, the CBC also reported. The third contractor also contributed $1.3 million to the Alberta Law Foundation, the broadcaster said in its report. ****** 4) What were the three charges that remain of the 53 charges initially issued? It seems very odd to me that 53 charges against three companies would devolve to 3 charges against the most minor of the three companies. Does this sort of pruning of charges occur in other work place incidents? http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/local- news/cnrl+still+working+improve+standards+after+deadly+2007+horizon/12644946/story.html OHS laid 53 charges against CNRL, SSEC Canada and Sinopec in June 2009. All but three charges against SSEC Canada were withdrawn three years later. SSEC Canada pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of its workers, and in 2013 paid fines totalling $1.5 million. *** 4) Why did Alberta Labor not ask for full fatality inquiries for the dead men? I note that this is possible. Instead apparently there is now a fatality inquiry limited to air ambulance questions as noted here: http://cpcml.ca/AW2016/AW0204.HTM Oil Sands Monopoly Blocks Full Inquiry into the Deaths of Two Workers Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) has succeeded in derailing a full public inquiry into the death of two workers in 2007 during the construction of the Horizon project. Two temporary foreign workers, Genbao Ge and Hongliang Lui, were killed and four other workers injured, when a tank collapsed during construction. The Fatality Inquiry will now be limited to the single question of whether air ambulance transportation to hospital would have saved the life of one of the workers. Horizon Oil Sands site as seen in 2012. (The Interior) The decision was announced following a teleconference involving Judge J. R. Jacques of the Alberta provincial court in Fort McMurray with lawyers for CNRL and Alberta Justice. CNRL owns the Horizon oil sands mine and upgrader, as well as extensive holdings in conventional oil and natural gas in Alberta, the North Sea and offshore in West Africa. The decision to limit the inquiry is all the more alarming given that 11 workers have died at CNRL in the past decade. [1] A full Fatality Inquiry would have presented an opportunity to fully examine why the two workers died, including examining witnesses under oath. But the judge agreed with the CNRL lawyer that the causes of the accident had already been investigated and no further inquiry was needed. This decision ignores the fact that witnesses have never been questioned under oath. There are serious discrepancies between the initial report by Workplace Health and Safety and the "agreed upon statement of facts" submitted when the subcontractor entered a guilty plea, and many unanswered questions. **** I mean I can understand limiting the fatality inquiry when the PCs were in charge but not when the NDP folks are in charge. Surely the NDP folks who are all for the ordinary workers would want to have the full story of how two innocent men died out in the public realm? Or are the NDP folks in government -- just like the PC folks in government-- in wanting to ensure that the public reputation of the oil and gas industry be "best in the world"? Why did Christina Gray not live the NDP values and demand full public inquiries into the deaths of both these men? 5) What is being done by the GOA (OHS) to protect workers from incompetence at the work sites in Alberta now that y'all know about the incompetence based on the OHS report and the revised (second) APEGA report which also seems to be more robust now due to new practices by APEGA no doubt in reaction to it's failures in the first review? I mean we can't depend on professional associations since they are only interested (it seems to me) in maintaining the professional image of the association and when that fails in doing the least possible to ensure that they don't look bad to the public when we find out that they are whitewashing problems of engineers in the work they do. It seems that APEGA only does a proper review and no investigation when it is forced to do it in response to a damning OHS report. I am curious why the OHS report would be needed to prompt the APEGA folks to do their job. http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/02/10/news/report-crushed-workers-prompts-review-oil- sands-company-engineering-permit “The way that APEGA did business then is different than the way we do business now,” said Mulder. “The understanding at that time was that we didn't have jurisdiction. We subsequently have come to the understanding that we think we do, but that’s transpired over that period of nine years or so.” **** I will have more detailed questions once I receive the answers to these questions., At this time can you tell me what the status of my request for the fatality reports on citizens killed in police contact is? I am still waiting for these fatality reports as noted here: From: Ministry of Justice <ministryofjustice@gov.ab.ca> Date: Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 10:42 AM Subject: Re: Fatality Reports To: "investigationsjyali@gmail.com" <investigationsjyali@gmail.com> Cc: Office of the Premier <Premier@gov.ab.ca> PCU 94078 Dear Ms. Ali: The Honourable Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta, has forwarded me a copy of your follow-up to Ms. Jennifer Fuchinsky’s email response to you regarding removal of fatality reports from the government website. Premier Rachel Notley has reviewed your correspondence and has asked that I respond on her behalf in my role as Minister of Alberta Justice and Solicitor General. In an email from Jennifer Fuchinsky’s dated October 5, 2016, you were advised that in order to keep the Justice and Solicitor General website up-to-date and to provide an optimum user experience, we review the site’s information for how recent it is. Due to the volume of fatality inquiry reports, we only keep those from the last two years on our website. You were also advised that there was a project in the works to eventually place all fatality inquiry reports online. I am pleased to inform you that this project is now underway and reports pre-dating those on the Justice and Solicitor General website will be uploaded to the Open Government website on an ongoing basis. You can access these reports at the following web address: http://open.alberta.ca/dataset? tags=public+fatality+inquiries&sort=createdate+asc Fatality inquiry reports are distributed to the parties involved in the inquiry and to those who may be impacted by recommendations. The Government of Alberta does not follow up on recommendations as it is these parties who have the authority and responsibility to determine whether recommendations are appropriate to be implemented. When recommendations are directed at a ministry of the Government of Alberta it is the sole responsibility of that ministry to review and determine how or whether it is feasible to implement recommendations in whole, or in part. Thank you for writing to share your concerns with our government and I hope that this information is helpful. Sincerely, Kathleen Ganley Minister of Justice and Solicitor General cc: Honourable Rachel Notley Premier of Alberta This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail.
--
end of message.

**********This is an automatically generated email, please do not reply to this email. **********







From: Julie Ali <
Date: Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: Deaths of prisoners in Alberta
To: Jennifer Fuchinsky <Jennifer.Fuchinsky@gov.ab.ca>


Hi Ms. Fuchinsky,
Can you include 2015 and 2016 reports in your summary as I do not want to have to patchwork this project? 
Thanks so much.
Sincerely, Julie 

On Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 7:33 AM, Jennifer Fuchinsky <Jennifer.Fuchinsky@gov.ab.ca> wrote:
Hello Ms. Ali,

As you can appreciate, this is a large project and will take some time. I the meantime, you can access 2015 and 2016 reports here: https://justice.alberta.ca/programs_services/fatality/Pages/fatality_reports.aspx

From: Julie Ali [mailto:
Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 4:33 PM
To: Jennifer Fuchinsky
Subject: Re: Deaths of prisoners in Alberta

Hi,
Can you do it from the beginning of time to now?
Thanks, Julie

On Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 10:13 AM, Jennifer Fuchinsky <Jennifer.Fuchinsky@gov.ab.ca> wrote:
Hello Ms. Ali, in response to your questions:

1.      I can run a search and provide these for you. How far back do you want them?
2.      At this time there is not a public database.
3.      The reports are public and are available to anyone who makes a request.

Jennifer Fuchinsky
Fatality Inquiry Coordinator
Justice and Solicitor General
Legal Services Division
Phone:  780-422-4077

AB-JSG 2Color CMYK 



From: Julie Ali
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2016 11:54 PM
To: Jennifer Fuchinsky
Subject: Deaths of prisoners in Alberta

Hi,

I am working on another project.
This one is on the deaths of citizens in jail.  I need more fatality reports. 

1) Fatality reports needed on all citizens who die in police custody
I want the fatality reports of all citizens who have died in police custody. This is either before they got to jail or were in jail.
Since this is a big project, will I have to provide the names of these citizens?
Or do you have a way to screen the fatality reports as I would expect from the government?
Please let me know.

2) Also is there any way I could just access past fatality reports by myself?
 3) Why doesn't the government keep all fatality reports on the website like the AER is doing for all non-compliances for the oil and gas industry?

Why do we have no continuous record of the fatality reports?
Thank  you for your assistance in this matter.


sincerely,
Julie Ali
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail.


No comments:

Post a Comment