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Power Company Acquitted of All Charges on Due Diligence Grounds

A worker at a coal-fired power plant was told by the foreman to check on a “tiger torch” that he had in use to melt ice in a culvert near the utility shop. The worker saw that the torch was out. When he relit it, there was a fireball that burned his face, fingers, hand and arm. As a result, the plant was charged with four safety violations, including providing inadequate training and supervision. The power company argued that it had exercised due diligence. The trial court found that, in general safety, was important to the company. In addition, it wasn’t foreseeable that the worker would use the tiger torch and so needed training on it. In short, the court found the company had exercised due diligence as to all charges and thus acquitted it [R. v. Saskatchewan Power Corp., [2016] SKPC 2 (CanLII), Jan. 29, 2016].