Contractor dies on NOVA Chemicals polyethylene expansion plant

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Contractor dies on NOVA Chemicals polyethylene expansion plant
Investigations have begun after a contract worker suffered a ‘severe trauma’ and died while working on a stationary crane on NOVA Chemicals PE1 (polyethylene) expansion plant in Joffre, Alberta, Canada.

The plant produces ethylene (E1, E2, E3) and polyethylene (PE1, PE2) and the resins are used to make food packaging and beverage bottles and cartons.

Worker rescued from the crane but died in hospital


The incident happened on April 27 and the worker died at Red Deer Regional Hospital and work on the construction site was suspended.

"At approximately 9am MDT on Wednesday, April 27, there was an industrial accident at our NOVA Chemicals PE1 Expansion Project construction site at our Joffre Site manufacturing facilities​,” said Bill Greene, senior VP, NOVA Chemicals, in a statement.

While working on a stationary crane at the construction site, a contractor came in contact with equipment resulting in severe trauma. NOVA Chemicals Joffre Site emergency personnel responded to the incident and rescued the worker from the crane​.”

Occupational Health and Safety and the Blackfalds RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) responded to the incident and the company is collaborating with the regulatory authorities as they carry out their investigation.  

This is an extremely sad day at NOVA Chemicals​,” added Greene.

Our belief is that every employee and contractor must go home safely - today that didn't happen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and co-workers of the worker​.

As we recognize that during a difficult time like this, distractions can easily happen, we want to encourage employees to remain vigilant and look out for one another​.  

'Our first priority is always the safety of our employees'

Our first priority is always the safety of our employees, contractors and the community​."

Construction on the expanded polyethylene facilities at Joffre include a world-scale polyethylene reactor (R3). R3 is NOVA Chemical’s third reactor on its existing PE1 facility.

Currently, PE1 has two identical production “trains” referred to as polyethylene reactors. R3 has been designed to produce between 950 to 1,100 million pounds of Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE).

The facility is expected to start up in the fourth quarter of 2016.

NOVA Chemicals is the largest polyethylene producer in Canada, of which the Joffre Site produces 2.2 billion pounds.  

DairyReporter recently announced the company had partnered with Tetra Pak​ to supply a polyethylene resin for its Tetra Evero Aseptic, the world’s first aseptic carton bottle, using NOVA Chemicals’ HPs667-AB resin.

HPs667-AB offers barrier and stiffness performance, which helps converters and brand owners improve the sustainability of packaged goods in applications including cereal, crackers, dairy and other liquids.

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