Construction Manager to Serve Jail Time for Worker Deaths.
Ongoing decisions from the Metron Construction tragedy continue to set precedents in Canadian health and safety law.
Near the end of the working day on Christmas Eve 2009, six workers were on a swing stage when it collapsed. With only two safety harnesses with a lanyard attached to serve as fall protection equipment, four workers fell to their deaths. The men ranged from 21 to 40 years old.
In September 2013, the company was convicted under the criminal code (Bill C-45). They were fined $750,000 for the actions of a dead supervisor after the court held that the supervisor fell within the definitions of representative and senior officer. Further, this decision set a precedent that sentencing courts can impose sentences that threaten the viability of corporations. In December 2014 the company that supplied the swing stage was fined a total of $400,000.
Most recently, the project manager who sent his workers up 13 stories in the swing stage without fall protection systems in place was found guilty of four counts of criminal negligence causing death and faces jail time. He is expected to be sentenced in early 2016.
Bill C-45 is federal legislation that amended the Canadian Criminal Code and became law on March 31, 2004. The Bill established new legal duties for workplace health and safety, and imposed serious penalties for violations that result in injuries or death. The Bill provided new rules for attributing criminal liability to organizations, including corporations, their representatives and those who direct the work of others.
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Safety Leadership: Lessons Learned from Metron Construction and How to Apply Them for Increased Safety Performance in Your Organization.