This case is a reminder that injuries to non-employees can lead
to Occupational Health and Safety Act convictions and
fines against employers.
A visitor to a self-storage facility in North Bay fell through
an open hole in the floor of a storage unit, after he came to the
facility to examine a truck that was being stored there. He
fell about 6 feet to the concrete floor below and died.
The company that operated the self-storage facility pleaded
guilty to the OHSA offence of failing as an employer to take every
precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a
worker (failing to ensure that an open hole in the floor of a
storage unit was protected by a guardrail or floor covering).
The Ministry of Labour notes, in its
Court Bulletin, that the OHSA applies "because there were
workers at the site who were exposed to the same hazard and the
company is an 'employer'" under the OHSA. That
is, even where the injured employee is not a worker / employee, if
the injury resulted from a hazard to which workers were also
exposed, the OHSA applies and the employer may be charged and
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On Thursday, September 22, 2016, Dentons hosted a panel discussion about the management of liabilities and risks associated with environmental crises, including potential liabilities for directors and officers and provided insight into risk and liability techniques associated with environmental crisis management.
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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