Supervisor’s Criminal Safety Charges Going To Trial

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An Ontario judge has decided that criminal charges against a Project Manager should go to trial.

The charges against Vadim Kazenelson, Project Manager for Metron Construction, arise from the tragic Christmas Eve 2009 incident in which four workers on a suspended scaffold fell 14 stories to their deaths.

In July 2012, Metron Construction pleaded guilty to charges, arising out of the same incident, of criminal negligence causing death and was fined $200,000.00 plus a $30,000.00 Victim Fine Surcharge.  Metron’s owner, Joel Swartz, pleaded guilty to four charges under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and was personally fined $90,000.00 plus a Victim Fine Surcharge of $22,500.00.  Our July 17, 2012 post on the fines against Metron and Swartz can be found here.

Labour groups have increasingly been calling for criminal enforcement, under the so-called Bill C-45, against companies and supervisors who commit serious safety breaches. The Ontario Federation of Labour, for instance, has what it calls its “Kill a Worker, Go to Jail” campaign.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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