Employer Did Enough to Prevent Work Injury but Didn’t Report It Fast Enough
A worker is using an oxygen acetylene torch to cut the lid from a 51-gallon barrel previously used to contain a flammable substance. Because the barrel hasn’t been properly purged, flammable vapours are still inside the barrel. An explosion occurs and the worker is engulfed in a ball of flame. The good news for the company is that it’s able to show that it used due diligence to evaluate and manage the risks; the bad news is that it took 2 days to notify the Workplace Safety and Health branch of the incident, not fast enough to satisfy its OHS duty to notify the branch of serious incidents involving workers “immediately and by the fastest means available.” Result: A guilty plea and $10,075 fine [316291 Alberta Ltd. Operating as Western Archrib, March 15, 2018].