Wednesday, January 4, 2017

----You can't make this stuff up ---------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 All but three charges against SSEC Canada were withdrawn three years later.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.------------------In May 2007, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, the province’s professional engineer regulator, said: “There is no evidence to suggest that unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct played a part in the tragic failure of the structure.” But in February 2016, the association reopened its review of the incident following a provincial occupational health and safety (OHS) report. The review, released Wednesday, said CNRL “freely and voluntarily admitted to unprofessional conduct in the engagement and supervision of project contractors performing engineering work.” A discipline committee order said CNRL failed to ensure drawings and procedures had been verified by a professional engineer, did work it was not competent to perform and contracted a company — SSEC Canada, a small arm of Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Company Ltd. — to do the work without first confirming they were competent to do it. As a result, CNRL has been fined $10,000 — the largest penalty the association can levy — and has been issued sanctions including being forced to work with the regulator to develop new practice standards on outsourcing engineering work and a province-wide consultation to clarify outstanding issues. The sanctions also say the cost of the work, up to $150,000, will be covered by CNRL.

So I find this mind boggling. The folks at APEGA tell the public in 2007 that folks-there were no problems at this site despite the fact that folks were killed and injured. They did a review of the tank roof collapse at the Horizon oilsands site and said that everyone was professional:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/cnrl+still+working+improve+standards+after+deadly+2007+horizon/12644946/story.html
In May 2007, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, the province’s professional engineer regulator, said: “There is no evidence to suggest that unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct played a part in the tragic failure of the structure.”
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But then the GOA does a review of the incident and say heck there is plenty of problems and CNRL got fined in a major way at first and then withdrew most of the charges against one company (SSEC Canada) except for three of them. I don't know what happened with reference to the charges against CNRL and Sinopec. I will go ask the GOA for this report.

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.

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The OHS review was released when?  I guess just recently --http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/cnrl+still+working+improve+standards+after+deadly+2007+horizon/12644946/story.html


But in February 2016, the association reopened its review of the incident following a provincial occupational health and safety (OHS) report.
The review, released Wednesday, said CNRL “freely and voluntarily admitted to unprofessional conduct in the engagement and supervision of project contractors performing engineering work.”
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So this makes me wonder if any of these professional association reports are worthwhile if they need a government review in order to get them to do a proper review of the incidents?

Based on the OHS charges the APEGA initial review must have been rather flimsy so the association goes back to do another review as noted here:

For immediate release February 17, 2016
APEGA Statement on OH&S Report Edmonton - Based upon new information contained in a recently released Occupational Health & Safety report, APEGA has restarted its review into the 2007 CNRL Horizon project tank farm structure that failed during construction. The report contains information that a professional engineer should have been involved and was not. APEGA has an obligation to review those observations in greater detail. While not yet a formal investigation, further review could result in a formal investigation. A review or investigation can lead to valuable learnings for both the permit holder involved as well as other permit holders and professional members of APEGA. Established in 1920, APEGA is responsible for regulating the practices of engineering and geoscience in the province of Alberta. - 30 - For more information, please contact: Philip Mulder, APR Director, Communications Telephone (780) 426-3990 or Toll Free 1-800-661-7020 Cell (780) 499-3873 pmulder@apega.ca www.apega.ca

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It took them ages to do the second review which is now released here:

https://www.apega.ca/about-apega/media-room/
January 4, 2017
APEGA Announces Discipline Decision for 2007 CNRL Tank-Roof Collapse
APEGA announced the results of its formal investigation regarding permit holder Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) and the Horizon Oil Sands Project tank roof-support structure that failed during construction on April 24, 2007, resulting in the tragic loss of life and injuries to workers.
The investigation considered whether CNRL as a permit holder with responsibility for approving designs, design changes, and construction plans, as well as meeting building and safety code requirements, did so in a skilled or professional manner.

**
I go look at the new review which seems a tad more harsh than the first review for some odd reason perhaps because the OHS review did the work that the initial APEGA review did not.

https://www.apega.ca/assets/news-releases/cnrl-decision.pdf

For immediate release January 4, 2017 APEGA announces discipline decision for 2007 CNRL tank-roof collapse Edmonton – APEGA announced the results of its formal investigation regarding permit holder Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) and the Horizon Oil Sands Project tank roof-support structure that failed during construction on April 24, 2007, resulting in the tragic loss of life and injuries to workers. The investigation considered whether CNRL as a permit holder with responsibility for approving designs, design changes, and construction plans, as well as meeting building and safety code requirements, did so in a skilled or professional manner. CNRL voluntarily admitted to unprofessional conduct in its engagement and supervision of contractors performing engineering work and has agreed to sanctions. In addition to a $10,000 fine, the maximum allowed under APEGA’s current legislation, CNRL will work with APEGA to develop a new practice standard on outsourcing engineering and geoscience work. This standard will set clear expectations relative to the responsibilities of APEGA permit holders and members when outsourcing engineering services. Clear expectations are the first critical step in enabling members to comply. The standard will be approved and established by APEGA Council and be actively enforced by APEGA’s investigative and discipline committees, as well as its Practice Review Board. CNRL will support the costs of the standard development (to a maximum of $150,000), including broad consultation with APEGA members to clarify current outsourcing issues and concerns. “This is the most significant sanction APEGA has applied to a permit holder,” said registrar Carol Moen, P.Eng. “An updated practice standard will clarify the professional obligations of all our members and permit holders when outsourcing engineering or geoscience services. Clarity of these responsibilities in conjunction with APEGA’s enforcement will minimize the likelihood of events like the CNRL tank incident from happening again in Alberta.” Information in the Government of Alberta Occupational Health & Safety investigation report on the incident, released in February 2016, helped APEGA determine that it remained in the public interest to proceed with an investigation despite the considerable passage of time since the event. Established in 1920, APEGA regulates the practices of engineering and geoscience to serve the public interest in Alberta. - 30 - Attachments: Recommended Discipline Order Backgrounder For more information, please contact: Gisela Hippolt-Squair, Deputy Director of Communications Office: (780) 493-0813, toll free 1-800-661-7020, Cell: 780-982-1574 gisela.hippoltsquair@apega.ca www.apega.ca

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Now I wonder what the first review by APEGA stated? I can't find it.
This news article makes me curious.
Where is the OHS report? I will ask the GOA for it.
Why no investigation by the APEGA folks when they messed up in this incident?
I will go ask them about this.

And finally why no fatality inquiries? Another question for the GOA.


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.

Alberta Justice has not commented on whether it recommended a full inquiry. Minister of Labour Christina Gray stated that the Ministry will not take any further action.

A total of 53 charges were laid in 2009 as a result of the tragic incident in which two workers died, including 29 charges against CNRL. But in 2012, five years after the accident, all the charges against CNRL were stayed, and the charges against contractor Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Ltd. were withdrawn. The remaining three charges were against SSEC Canada, a subsidiary of Sinopec established a year before the accident to bid for work in the oil sands. SSEC entered a guilty plea for failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker and paid fines totalling $200,000, along with a contribution of $1.3 million to the Alberta Law Foundation. The guilty plea meant no trial took place, and no one has ever testified under oath. From start to finish, an aura of secrecy has been imposed, which could have no other aim than to protect CNRL, known to be a large and looming political presence at all times.

The report issued on Workplace Health and Safety Compliance was not made public for almost 9 years.
The agreed statement of facts was only released after the media applied for a court order, even though it was a public document. Why two of the three companies involved were not prosecuted has never been explained. The content of the teleconference discussion has not been made public, after which the judge agreed to severely restrict the inquiry.

The working people and their allies in Alberta gave a resounding defeat to the PC-
Wildrose anti-social agenda. This was an expression of a demand for a public authority that serves the public good not monopoly right. Our no is also the starting point of our yes to the creation of a public authority consistent with the needs of the times. The people's organized resistance to monopoly right can give rise to a forward-looking perspective to uphold the public interest.

Note


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What is also interesting is that everyone got off the hook in this mess except for SSEC Canada. So odd. Why did CNRL and Sinopec Shanghai Engineering not get penalties? Did the NDP folks who are so for labor not ask for full fatality inquiries? So odd. We now have a fatality report limited to questions about the air ambulance services.
And why did it take 9 years for the report from  OHS to get out to the public? It feels like we don't get the news until it is old news --like almost a decade later. Seems like the NDP government is no different than the PC government in terms of secrecy. Not acceptable practices at all.





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

DAVE LAZZARINO, EDMONTON JOURNAL  01.04.2017
UNDATED -- Undated handout aerial photo of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) Horizon oilsands plant north of Fort McMurray. HANDOUT PHOTO: OILSANDS-BLAZE
/ EDMONTON JOURNAL
A Calgary-based oil and gas company is being forced to pay a $10,000 fine and up to $150,000 to update best practices on outsourcing engineering and geoscience work following the review of a deadly roof collapse in Northern Alberta nearly 10 years ago.
In April 2007, the roof of a Canadian National Resources Ltd. tank collapsed at the Horizon project site north of Fort McMurray. Two workers were killed while five others suffered injuries, two of which were serious, when the tank’s roof support structure collapsed from a height of 5.6 metres.
In May 2007, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, the province’s professional engineer regulator, said: “There is no evidence to suggest that unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct played a part in the tragic failure of the structure.”
But in February 2016, the association reopened its review of the incident following a provincial occupational health and safety (OHS) report.
The review, released Wednesday, said CNRL “freely and voluntarily admitted to unprofessional conduct in the engagement and supervision of project contractors performing engineering work.”
A discipline committee order said CNRL failed to ensure drawings and procedures had been verified by a professional engineer, did work it was not competent to perform and contracted a company — SSEC Canada, a small arm of Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Company Ltd. — to do the work without first confirming they were competent to do it.
As a result, CNRL has been fined $10,000 — the largest penalty the association can levy — and has been issued sanctions including being forced to work with the regulator to develop new practice standards on outsourcing engineering work and a province-wide consultation to clarify outstanding issues. The sanctions also say the cost of the work, up to $150,000, will be covered by CNRL.
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.
dlazzarino@postmedia.com
Julie Ali · 
So I am curious. Why would the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) clear CNRL of any misdoings and then when an Provincial Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Report was released, they now say that there were problems?
Why did it need the OHS report to find the problems? Does this not mean that the review of the incident by the professional body was lacking? What is to prevent this happening again?
When I go to the association site they just say that there was new information that prompted the second review (but not apparently an investigation) but why was this new information not provided to the association in the first place? Why was an investigation not done by APEGA instead of a second review?

This sort of poor oversight by APEGA and the AER makes me feel that there will be more workplace deaths at oil and gas company faciltiies and does not encourage best practices but oversight after fatalities practices which seems to be the way that the AER does the work of regulation in Alberta. Best in the world standards mean nothing unless there is best in the world oversight, review, investigation and penalties of a more onerous nature. The penalty is very minor in this case for fatalities and severe injuries of human beings.

Also why doesn't this news article address the failure of the first review by APEGA?

https://www.apega.ca/assets/news-releases/ohs-report.pdf

APEGA Statement on OH&S Report
Edmonton - Based upon new information contained in a recently released Occupational Health &
Safety report, APEGA has restarted its review into the 2007 CNRL Horizon project tank farm structure
that failed during construction.
The report contains information that a professional engineer should have been involved and was not.
APEGA has an obligation to review those observations in greater detail. While not yet a formal
investigation, further review could result in a formal investigation.
A review or investigation can lead to valuable learnings for both the permit holder involved as well as
other permit holders and professional members of APEGA.
Established in 1920, APEGA is responsible for regulating the practices of engineering and geoscience
in the province of Alberta.
- 30 -
For more information, please contact:
Philip Mulder, APR
Director, Communications
Telephone (780) 426-3990 or Toll Free 1-800-661-7020
Cell (780) 499-3873
pmulder@apega.ca
www.apega.ca

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So this is so surprising to me. The GOA has a OHS report and they eventually drop the charges against CNRL and Sinopec. So basically these two companies aren't involved in the penalties. 
Then mind bogglingly enough the APEGA folks decide hmmm.. maybe our first review was rather useless. Let us go back and check the data. They do a second review. This is not an investigation folks. This is just a second review. They issue a fine to the CNRL folks simply because they admitted stuff. The fine? It is 10,000 bucks. Two temporary foreign workers are dead but we are all OK because the maximum fine is issued. So bogus.
Of course there is hope that the CNRL folks will pony up more cash in these rather ineffective penalties. The company pay for work "up to 150,000" to do what? You guessed it "consultation to clarify outstanding issues" I see this is spin. But I guess we understand now that neither the GOA or APEGA folks are interested in the safety of workers especially temporary foreign workers
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