As an Ontario employer, it is sometimes hard to shake the impression the standard of OH&S due diligence applied by the courts is so high that defendants are guilty until proven innocent. Our court of appeal has found employers to be “the virtual insurers” of employee health and safety.
On Christmas Eve, 2009, four workers fell to their death at a Toronto construction site from a scaffold that did not use proper fall arrest systems. A fifth worker was seriously injured. The result: charges under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Criminal Code of Canada were filed against the individuals and companies involved in the construction project.