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Fatality at Hinton pulp mill confirmed

West Fraser Photo

Masha Scheele

RCMP and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) are investigating a sudden death at the Hinton pulp mill that occurred on Oct. 5, 2020.

“We understand there are questions about this tragic incident and are fully cooperating with the authorities to find answers. We are extremely saddened about this loss of life, and our thoughts are with the individual’s family at this time,” stated Tara Knight, communications for West Fraser.

Other reports stated that a stop work order was put in place for a scaffolding contractor involved in the incident.

AlumaSafway, the scaffolding company that was a contractor at the site, confirmed the death of Norman Hatami during the tragic accident on Oct. 5.

“Norman was a highly respected member of the AlumaSafway team, and his passing represents an enormous personal loss to us, his family, and his loved ones,” said Karla Cuculi, AlumaSafway VP communications

AlumaSafway is providing counseling and support to the workers at the West Fraser site, and assisting occupational health and safety officers in the course of their investigation into the cause of this tragedy.

“Out of respect for Norman, his family, and the investigative process, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further until that process is complete. Our most heartfelt condolences, thoughts, and prayers are with his family, friends, and all those that knew him,” stated Cuculi.

A GoFundMe page was set up for Hatami’s family.  It has raised more than $17,000.

The page stated, “For anyone that knew him, he truly was the most genuine, caring and loving man. His big smile would light up a room when he walked in and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his family and friends.”

RCMP Staff Sergeant, Chris Murphy, said no further details would be released by RCMP unless this death is deemed as criminal in nature. OHS confirmed that a worker fatality at the West Fraser Mills site was reported on the evening of Oct. 5 and that an investigation is ongoing.