An Ontario truck driver has been sentenced to 20 days in jail following a workplace accident that killed a construction worker.
On Aug. 10, 2002, a worker was struck by a reversing truck and died of his injuries. Just prior to the incident, the worker — who was wearing a red and yellow safety vest — was seen gesturing to the driver of the reversing truck to move the truck over.
Next the worker was seen jumping onto a second truck’s running board, a step located several feet off the ground that juts out just below the driver’s door. The first truck continued reversing and made contact with the second truck. The worker on the running board, who was still gesturing to the driver of the reversing truck to move over, was eventually seen being rolled between the first and second trucks.
At this point the first truck pulled ahead and the worker fell to the ground. Both the deceased worker and the driver of the first truck were employed by Cox Construction Ltd. of Guelph, Ont. The accident happened on Main Street in Erin, Ont., a town about 25 kilometres north of Guelph. Cox Construction was involved in a road reconstruction project at that location.
Following a three day trial, the truck driver was found guilty as a worker of:
•operating equipment in a manner that endangered another worker; and
•operating a vehicle without the assistance of a signaller in circumstances which would have required a signaller.
Both charges were brought under Ontario’s
Occupational Health and Safety Act
. The act allows fines against individuals up to $25,000 and jail times of up to 12 months. Employers can be fined up to $500,000 under the legislation.
Justice Sharon Woodworth of the Ontario Court of Justice sentenced the truck driver to 20 days in jail on each count. The jail terms were to be served concurrently on an intermittent basis.
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