OHSLAWTM Newsflash - Death of Ottawa Student Results
in OHSA Charges against School Board
Charges were laid on January 24, 2012 against the Ottawa
Catholic District School Board under the Occupational Health and
Safety Act, relating to the death of Eric Leighton, a grade 12
student at Mother Theresa High School, in the Ottawa, Ontario area.
The charges allege the following:
The employer failed to protect the health and safety of the
worker at a workplace by failing to provide information,
instruction and supervision to a worker, Scott Day, on safe work
practices and recognition of hazards associated with hot work,
including grinding, on drums or containers.
The employer failed to protect a worker at a workplace by
failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that where
alterations are to be made on a drum or container, that the drum or
container shall be drained and cleaned or otherwise rendered free
from any explosive or flammable substance.
The employer failed to ensure that a worker, Scott Day, and his
supervisor, Mary Ellen Agnel, were acquainted with the hazards of
performing hot work on drums or containers.
The first court appearance is scheduled for February 23, 2012 at
1:30pm in Courtroom 102, 100 Constellation Crescent in Ottawa. This
case raises important legal issues to the application of the
Occupational Health and Safety Act to schools, students, teachers
and school boards across Ontario.
This enforcement by the Ministry of Labour involving injuries to
high school students means that schools and school boards should be
diligent in developing comprehensive health and safety programs,
training workers to identify and report hazards, and eliminating
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