In a previous First Reference Talks blog post, we informed you that on June 15, 2012, one company (Metron Construction) entered a guilty plea to one charge of criminal negligence causing death under the Criminal Code. Also, the company’s president pleaded guilty to four contraventions of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, involving the failure as a company director to ensure that Metron Construction complied with the health and safety legislation
On July 13, 2012, Joel Swartz, the director of Metron Construction Corporation, was fined $90,000 after pleading guilty to violations of the Act after four workers were killed and another worker was seriously injured.
Also, Metron was fined $200,000 related to the conviction of criminal negligence causing death under the Criminal Code.
In addition to the OHSA fines, the court imposed a 25 percent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
As noted in the government news release, other defendants facing charges stemming from this incident are still before the court.
Some may think the criminal conviction and the health and safety fines constitute adequate punishment for the misconduct, some not. Others would have hoped for some jail time and the $1 million dollar fine sought by the Crown. What do you think? Was the punishment enough?
First Reference Human Resources and Compliance Editor