Safety violations demonstrate probationary employee’s unsuitability

Employee was trained on safety procedures but didn't follow them not long after being out on his own
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/06/2016

An Alberta employer had the right to dismiss a worker who was injured after not following safety procedure while still on probation, an arbitrator has ruled.

The worker, Nicholas Zerebeski, 23, was hired on March 18, 2013, by Telus Corporation to be a service technician-apprentice to do installation and repair work in central Alberta around Eckville, Alta. Between 40 and 60 per cent of the work was performed at heights on overhead telephone lines.

Zerebeski took a 12-week training course to learn the ins and outs of his job, as well as riding along with another technician for a week. Part of the training included a one-week course on working aloft that went over equipment and safety procedures, in which Zerebeski did well because he had some climbing experience. Working aloft safety procedures included requirements for workers to tie themselves in with a body belt, harness with a bungie, and a ladder all secured to the cable or pole.