The Department of Transportation and Works is facing two charges in provincial court related to the criminal case of a heavy equipment operator threatening a surveyor.
The provincial department is accused under the Occupational Health and Safety Act of failing to ensure workers followed safety protocols, and of not providing work schedules or organizing tasks in a safe manner after an incident in St. Vincent’s on March 28, 2018.
Bernie Farrell, a heavy equipment operator from Farrell’s Excavating, was convicted of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm for the same incident.
Farrell threatened a Department of Transportation and Works surveyor with the bucket of his excavator. He was given a 12-month suspended sentence, meaning no jail time, with the condition that he stay away from the surveyor.
The 56-year-old Farrell is now also charged with one violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for allegedly failing to ensure a worker was not in the swing radius of his bucket.
Representatives for Farrell and the Department of Transportation and Works are due in court May 26 for a first appearance on the charges.
Farrell’s Excavating is one of the biggest road construction companies in the province, owned by William Farrell and located on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Conception Bay South exit.
Since the incident on March 28, 2018, Farrell’s has been awarded more than $11 million by the Department of Transportation and Works in tenders for road work.