Syncrude guilty plea


In a recent court decision, Oilsands operator Syncrude Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty to a safety violation in the 2021 death of a worker and was ordered to pay a $390,000 penalty.

Syncrude pleaded guilty on April 4, 2024 to one charge under Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker.

The Syncrude employee died on June 6, 2021. The worker was operating an excavator to build a berm when the bank slumped into the fresh water. The cab of the excavator was fully submerged and the worker drowned.

Syncrude pleaded guilty for failure to ensure the health and safety of a worker by permitting the worker to operate an excavator on a ramp with an over-steepened slope.

Four other charges under OHS legislation were withdrawn.

It is always important to remember safe work practices and procedures of operating heavy equipment, particularly around slopes, excavations, and trenches. Click here to review SAFEWork Manitoba’s “Guide for Excavation Work”.

To register for excavation/trenching training please contact Julie Desroches at If you have any questions regarding working near slopes, excavations, and trenches please contact your regional advisor.

Reference: Syncrude to pay $390K penalty, pleads guilty to safety violation, after oilsands worker death in 2021 | CBC News