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Swing N Scaff Inc. and company director fined a total of $400,000 in deaths of four workers

Last January, I wrote about fatalities at work, and in particular, the Metron Construction and Swartz decisions. Since then, there has been some developments.

 

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Fatalities at work: are they leading to stiffer consequences?

In the 2012 Metron Construction and Swartz decisions concerning the deaths of four workers and serious injury of a fifth worker, the Ontario Court of Justice imposed substantial fines but no jail time for the company’s president under either provincial or federal legislation. More recently, however, in R. v. Roofing Medics Ltd., which involved the fatality of one worker, the court did impose jail time on the owner of the company. Employers should take note. It’s not yet clear if the Roofing Medics case will influence future decisions, but the Ontario Court of Justice has at least shown that it is willing to impose jail time on employers that do not comply with health and safety legislation.

 

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Mandatory awareness training for Ontario workers and supervisors as of July 2014!

Christmas has come early for health and safety professionals in Ontario, with the gift of a new law, Regulation 297/13 added to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and filed on November 14, 2013. The regulation is the first of its kind in Canada and mandates that all workers and supervisors must complete basic health and safety awareness training.

 

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Supervisor circulated pornography, damaged employment relationship, terminated for cause

When a workplace supervisor accessed pornographic, racist and other inappropriate material via a work computer and circulated it to employees and employer contacts, the employer had just cause to dismiss him. The employee claimed he was wrongfully dismissed, but the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench was not convinced and acceded to the employer’s request to dismiss the employee’s claim without trial.

 

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Employer paid no notice or severance when it terminated employee of 36 years without cause

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice just decided that an employer terminated a 65-year-old long-term employee without the proper amount of notice or severance. As a result, the employer had to pay hefty damages, interest and costs award

 

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