Companies Fined a Mere $15,000 for Three-Year-Old’s Death

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A couple, their son and daughter were walking down the street when wind blew a bundle of steel off the roof of a construction project, striking the group. The three-year-old daughter died; the husband and son were injured. Two companies pleaded guilty to an Alberta Safety Codes Act charge of allowing an unsafe condition on the worksite. The court imposed the maximum fine—$15,000. But officials called this penalty “woefully inadequate.” Workplace safety investigators looked into the incident but no OHS charges were laid. Had a worker been killed by the sheet metal—rather than a bystander—the maximum penalty would have been $500,000 and/or six months of jail time for a first offence [Calgary Herald, Feb. 10, 2011].