Termination of Foreman for Violating Lockout Rules Was Excessive

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A foreman was working with a worker when a bin got clogged. The worker climbed into the bin. The foreman closed a gate so the worker wouldn’t get engulfed in material, but it caught the worker’s leg and foot, causing serious injuries. The company found that the foreman hadn’t locked out the equipment before the worker tried to unclog it and fired him. But the Labour Relations Board ruled that a six-month unpaid suspension was sufficient. The foreman had a clean record over his 37-year career, his failure to lockout was “inadvertent” and a “significant suspension” was enough to send the message that safety violations won’t be tolerated, it ruled [International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793 v. TCG Asphalt & Construction Inc., [2011] CanLII 9679 (ON L.R.B.), Feb. 23, 2011].