Employee’s death the result of gross negligence

Adherence to industry standards not a mitigating factor when determining appropriate sentence
|Canadian Employment Law Today

At trial General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd. was convicted on one count of “failure to ensure as was reasonably practicable in the health and safety of a worker.” The charge resulted from a workplace accident in which one of General Scrap’s employees, Wlodzimierz Kochanowski, was killed.

On Feb. 22, 2000, Mr. Kochanowski and another worker were storing a pile of scrap aluminum. The main sorting area was filled to capacity and another site was selected.

During the course of their work the workers came in close proximity to some stacked bales of wire. Immediately before the accident, Mr. Kochanowski was positioned two feet from the bales. The co-worker’s attention was momentarily diverted. When he turned around he saw Mr. Kochanowski pinned to the ground by a bale that had fallen from the stack. Mr. Kochanowski died from blunt trauma.