A construction supervisor was fined $30,000 after pleading
guilty to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety
The supervisor admitted to failing to ensure that workers wore
fall protection and followed a work procedure for safely cutting
and removing concrete from a bridge deck.
The Ministry of Labour, in its press release, states that,
"While workers were removing concrete panels from the bridge a
section of the deck began to collapse. A worker fell and a
collapsing concrete panel fell on top of the worker. The worker was
The Ministry also notes that the supervisor had been provided
with a copy of an engineered procedure for safely cutting and
removing concrete from the bridge deck in order to maintain its
structural integrity and prevent collapse. However, this procedure
had been violated. Furthermore, the workers exposed to a fall
hazard while dismantling the bridge had not been wearing fall
This is a significant fine against a supervisor
personally. Our recent
statistical study of Ontario safety prosecutions found that
more than 50% of Occupational Health and Safety Act
charges against individuals were withdrawn by the Ministry of
Labour. However, the Ministry is less likely to withdraw
charges where, as here, the supervisor had been given the proper
procedure and failed to follow it.
The Ministry of Labour's press release may be accessed
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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