اخبار العرب-كندا 24: الأربعاء 4 أكتوبر 2023 03:08 مساءً
Nova Scotia Power properly examined the risks related to a dam survey project three years and shouldn't be found guilty of regulatory charges related to a drowning at the site, a lawyer for the company argued Wednesday in a Halifax courtroom.
The utility, along with two other companies, have been on trial on a series of charges under Nova Scotia's occupational safety regulations related to the Oct. 16, 2020, death of Andrew Gnazdowsky.
The 26-year-old engineer, an employee of Brunswick Engineering and Consulting Inc., died after swimming out into a reservoir in Sheet Harbour, N.S., to retrieve a malfunctioning remote-controlled vessel that contained equipment used to survey depths and shapes under water.
Brunswick Engineering was a subcontractor for Gemtec Consulting, Engineers and Scientists Ltd., which was engaged by Nova Scotia Power to assess a number of its dams.
The survey was supposed to be done using a remote-controlled vessel, and Nova Scotia Power lawyer Stan MacDonald argued in Halifax provincial court Wednesday the utility had been told ahead of time that no one needed to go out into the reservoir.
"No person was expected to be in the water," he said during his closing submissions in the case.
The Marshall Falls reservoir is part of the Nova Scotia Power's hydro system in Sheet Harbour, N.S. (Robert Short/CBC)
MacDonald argued that Nova Scotia Power did all that was required to mitigate the risk of drowning. There was no urgent need to retrieve the vessel, and the company had a boat located about 10 minutes away.
Crown prosecutor Alex Keaveny argued last week that Nova Scotia Power, Brunswick Engineering and Gemtec Consulting didn't follow provincial regulations or their own policies.
Nova Scotia Power is accused of failing to correctly assign the project a higher level of risk, doing an inadequate assessment, and failing to provide rescue equipment or take measures to protect workers from the risk of drowning. The two other companies face charges related to safety, rescue equipment and drowning risk.
Keaveny said Gnazdowsky's death was preventable, the companies didn't have a plan to recover the remote-controlled vessel if it became stranded, or have anything on site such as a boat that could be used to retrieve it.
Gnazdowsky and his supervisor with Brunswick Engineering were together at a small beach by the reservoir when the decision was made for Gnazdowsky to swim out and guide the vessel to the boat launch.
Last week, a lawyer for Brunswick Engineering said Gnazdowsky was told by the supervisor to wait for a personal flotation device, but instead began swimming without one.
The Crown has argued it's clear the supervisor left the beach after Gnazdowsky got into the water and he didn't appear concerned that his employee was swimming.
In a written brief, MacDonald said an employee of Gemtec Consulting was "dumbfounded" when he spotted someone in the water, and that a Nova Scotia Power employee began shouting for Gnazdowsky to get out.
Judge Elizabeth Buckle is due to give her decision in the case on Feb. 6.
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