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A unit of Suncor Energy SU-T has been charged with five offences relating to the death of a worker at an oil sands site in northern Alberta in June 2021, the latest blow to the Canadian oil producer’s safety record.

Syncrude Canada Ltd, majority-owned by Suncor, was charged on March 27 under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and is accused of failing to ensure the health and safety of its worker.

“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 was fatally injured,” a notice posted on the Alberta OHS website said.

Suncor said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday it would be inappropriate to comment on a case that is before the courts.

The Calgary-based company has had a string of fatalities at its oil sands sites in recent years, prompting the resignation of former CEO Mark Little last July.

At the time, Suncor was already under scrutiny from activist investor firm Elliot Management for its poor operating and safety record.

Former Imperial Oil chief Rich Kruger was appointed Suncor CEO in February after a seven-month search.

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