12/19/2014 10:39 EST | Updated 02/18/2015 05:59 EST

Newfoundland and Labrador Justice Department charged after officer drowns

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The Justice and Public Safety Department in Newfoundland and Labrador has been charged after the death of an enforcement officer last year.

Service Newfoundland and Labrador says a fish and wildlife enforcement officer was patrolling an area in western Newfoundland near Bellburns on a snowmobile on Feb. 21, 2013, when he fell through the ice and drowned.

The Justice and Public Safety Department has been charged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act with failure to provide necessary information, instruction, training and supervision and failure to ensure necessary protective clothing and devices were used.

The department is also charged with failure to ensure written safe work procedures appropriate to the hazards and work activity were included in the employer's safety program.

Justice and Public Safety Minister Judy Manning says Howard Lavers was a highly respected enforcement officer and his death has affected many people.