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OK to Fire Worker for Ignoring Safety Training in Propane Incident

A worker connected a truck to a tank to fill it with propane. He left while the pumps were working. When the truck was full, he turned off the pumps but didn’t remove the hoses. He backed the truck up, causing the hoses to fall out and discharge about 5,000 litres of propane vapour. The company fired the worker for failing to follow proper safety procedures before and after the incident. The worker sued for wrongful dismissal. The court noted that the worker had been trained in the applicable safety procedures and what to do in an emergency, but he acted against his training, including failing to immediately report the incident. Thus, the company had just cause to fire him, said the court [Balzer v. Federated Co-Operatives Ltd., [2014] SKQB 32 (CanLII), Jan. 28, 2014].