An Ontario court has sentenced two corporate directors to jail
time and fined the company $250,000 when a worker was killed after
falling from an elevated platform tacked on to the forks of a
forklift. The sentence comes despite the director's decision to
plead guilty to the charges and the company having no prior
The worker was moving merchandise at a warehouse in Brampton
using the modified forklift. The added platform had no guardrail.
The worker was found on the floor unconscious and was pronounced
dead soon after. The cause of death was determined to be blunt
force trauma to the head.
The Ministry of Labour states that its investigation found that
there had been no health and safety training provided to warehouse
workers and they were not provided with any further fall
The directors were charged with failing to take reasonable care
that the corporation complied with occupational health and safety
legislation. The company was charged with failing to provide
information, instruction, and supervision to a worker regarding
fall protection and working from a height. The company was also
charged for failing to ensure the safety measures required by law
were carried out. Guilty pleas were entered on all counts.
The directors received a 25-day jail sentence, to be served on
weekends, and were ordered to take a health and safety course
within 60 days. The company was fined $250,000.
Although this is an Ontario decision, a similar result is likely
in Alberta. There is a growing trend by prosecutors across the
country to seek higher fines and harsher penalties for employers
who fail to take their occupational health and safety obligations
seriously. Directors who are reckless can expect to pay a high
As the Alberta government considers further revisions to
Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Code,
employers should closely monitor this changing regulatory landscape
and fully understand their obligations. McLennan Ross offers a
range of services to help organizations of all types and sizes take
the steps that are necessary today to avoid health and safety
problems in the future.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Alberta is going through a difficult economic period. These times can be challenging and while owners struggle to get their business through the rough patch, they want to preserve the assets and capital they have built up.
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