Alberta security company faces fines after guard raped while on duty

Company violated province’s working alone regulations when guard was assigned to construction site duty by herself
|employmentlawtoday.com|Last Updated: 04/13/2011

An security company has pleaded guilty to health and safety charges after a female security guard on duty alone in Calgary was raped while on the job.

Garda Canada Security Corp., a national security company, assigned a 34-year-old female employee to guard a construction site in Calgary overnight on Nov. 1, 2006. The female guard — who had been with the company for one week — was sent to the site after another guard called in sick. A large part of the construction site was only blocked off with a tarp.

Early in the morning of Nov. 1, 2006, the guard heard a noise and called Garda’s dispatcher, who transferred her to 911. The guard encountered a man on the site who then physically and sexually assaulted her, leaving her with serious injuries. When police arrived, they caught the man trying to flee the scene. He was charged and convicted of assault and unlawful confinement and sentenced to eight years in jail.

In her victim impact statement, the guard told the court she thought she was going to die that morning and she still suffers from emotional trauma from the rape.

Garda was charged under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, which has regulations that stipulate employers must conduct a hazard assessment in a workplace where an employee is working alone. In such circumstances, employers must supply an employee with effective communication to someone who can respond to a threat or maintain regular contact with the employee.

Garda — a first-time offender — pleaded guilty to the charge and will face a fine of about $90,000. Sentencing will take place in July. No individuals with Garda were charged so there will be no jail time.

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