Company Not Liable for Unforeseeable Worker Misconduct

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An experienced tire technician inflated a tire on a split rim wheel assembly known as a “widow maker” without using restraints as required by company safety policy. It exploded, causing serious head injuries. The company was charged with multiple OHS violations. The court dismissed all charges, ruling that the company had exercised due diligence. It provided appropriate training, restraints, hands-on supervision and communication of safety rules. A worker had reminded the technician minutes before the incident to use restraints and he said he’d do the work safely. So it was unforeseeable that he’d act so irrationally by doing the work without restraints, concluded the court [R. v. Fountain Tire (Olds) Ltd., [2011] ABPC 236 (CanLII), July 18, 2011].