Law of the Year
As of April 1, Yukon drivers must stay off their cell phones while driving or face a $250 fine. The ban bars drivers from talking or texting with their handheld cell phones or other messaging devices while they’re operating a motor vehicle.
Other Notable Regulatory Changes
Effective July 1, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bladder, brain, colorectal, esophageal, kidney, lung, ureter and testicular cancers will be presumed to be occupational illnesses for full-time firefighters. And for all firefighters, a heart attack suffered up to 24 hours after an emergency call will be considered work-related.
Case of the Year
Yukon Government Wants New Trial in Blasting Case
The Yukon government wants a new trial almost a year after being found guilty of permitting a dynamite blast that sent rocks crashing into homes in a trailer park. It was fined $30,000. The government says the territorial court’s decision sets a dangerous precedent for property owners who hire contractors, arguing that it means owners have to constantly monitor the contractors they hire and leaves contractors with the impression that they’re not responsible for site safety. The contractor and site supervisor were also found guilty of OHS violations for the incident [Daily Construction News, April 1, 2011].
Other Notable Cases
Mining Company Pleads Guilty after Worker Is Run Over by Own Vehicle
A 20-year-old mine worker drove a truck into the mine to deliver a piece of equipment to a co-worker. When the way down the steep ramp was blocked by another vehicle, he stopped his truck, put it into neutral, applied the emergency brake and walked down the ramp. But the emergency brake failed and his vehicle rolled down the slope, striking him from behind. He died from internal injuries. The mining company pleaded guilty to two safety violations relating to the unsafe operation of a vehicle [Procon Mining and Tunnelling, Aug. 3, 2011].