Employer Fined $115,000 for Suffocation of Worker by Wood Shavings

A worker was sent to a mill to collect wood shavings from a silo and load them into the box of a truck. While prodding the material with a stick, he fell into the box, became engulfed by shavings and suffocated. He later died. After a trial, his employer was found guilty of failing to ensure that the loading of the truck from a silo was conducted in a safe manner. At sentencing, the court found that worker misconduct wasn’t a factor. The employer did express remorse and took steps after the incident to improve worker safety. Given the fact the incident resulted in a fatality as well as the mitigating factors, the court concluded that a $115,000 fine was appropriate [R. v. Reliable Wood Shavings Inc., [2013] ONCJ 712 (CanLII), Dec. 18, 2013].