Failure to follow standard procedure worthy of demotion, suspension

Worker didn't complete sheet recording regular safety checks of dangerous equipment
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 08/20/2014

An Ontario arbitrator has upheld a worker’s suspension and demotion for not following his employer’s standard operating procedure for dealing with dangerous chemicals and equipment.

The worker was a supervisor with Invista Canada, a manufacturer of industrial nylon in Kingston, Ont. The manufacturing process involved putting raw materials under pressure and keeping them in a molten state before combining and stretching them into filaments. As they cool, a vent condenser system draws contaminated molten material, which is flammable and explosive if not handled correctly.

Because of the dangerous material used in the manufacturing process, Invista made significant efforts to develop a “culture of compliance” for its standard operating procedures (SOP), which helped to control risk.