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Quebec Company First to be Convicted in Worker’s Death Under Bill C-45
Quebec stone-paver manufacturer Transpave Inc. became the first employer in Canada to be convicted and fined in connection with a worker’s death under the provisions of Bill C-45, which went into force in 2004. The bill, which amended Canada’s Criminal Code to require individuals and organizations to take “reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm” to workers and the public, also conversely eased the threshold for establishing the guilt of safety violators.
The case involved Transpave employee Steve L’Ecuyer, who was killed in October 2005 after being crushed by a machine that failed to shut down because a safety device had been disabled. The Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL) argued that L’Ecuyer had not received adequate safety training and was unaware of the risks posed by his work.
Transpave pleaded guilty to one count of criminal negligence and on March 17th was fined $110,000 (CDN). Although there was some consolation that an employer had finally incurred charges under Bill C-45, QFL officials found the amount of the judgment to be inadequate and may appeal the ruling.