Ontario workplace fatality leads to $250,000 fine and jail time

Ontario workplace fatality leads to $250,000 fine and jail time Brampton, ON – January 22, 2015 – An Ontario company has been fined $250,000, and two of its directors sentenced to 25 days in jail after pleading guilty to safety violations that led to the death of a warehouse worker. 

On January 18, 2013, a worker at NewMex Canada, a furniture warehouse in a Brampton, fell to his death from a forklift platform that had no guard rails. The Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation also determined that the company did not provide workers at the warehouse with health and safety training or safety harnesses.

Two directors of the company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the company complied with the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. They were ordered to serve 25 days in jail, to be served on weekends. The NewMex company also pleaded guilty to failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker regarding fall protection. The company also pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure the safety measures required by law were carried out, and was fined $250,000.

“NewMex and its directors showed complete disregard for the safety of workers at their warehouse,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. “This was a completely preventable death that no amount of money can undo. Jail time on weekends is also a small price to pay compared to a lifetime of sorrow and hardship for the victim’s family.”

“The employer should also be facing criminal charges, just as Metron Construction did when its reckless negligence sent workers to their death from a faulty scaffold in 2009, said Brother Meinema. “The message to employers must be loud and clear that the safety of workers is paramount.”