Two Companies & Two Individuals Face Criminal Negligence Charges in BC

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In 2007, 22-year-old Kelsey Kristian was killed on her second day of work at the Stave Lake Quarries in BC. An investigation found that Kristian had been assigned to drive a hauler after some basic on-the-job training, which did not include how to safely park the vehicle. And she had no prior experience with heavy trucks.

Kristian was standing on the running board cleaning the windshield when the truck started to roll down a hill. It travelled about 50 metres when it struck a rock berm and flipped onto its side, pinning her under the cab.

The coroner’s investigation found that the air brakes had drained, the transmission was in neutral, the mechanical parking brake hadn’t been set and chocks hadn’t been set against the tires.

You’d expect this scenario to result in OHS charges against her employer and maybe others. But in a first for BC, criminal negligence charges—so called “C-45 charges”—were recently filed as to this tragedy.

Two men, James Holmes and Garry Klassen, and Stave Lake Quarries Inc. and 426969 B.C. Ltd., have been charged with criminal negligence causing death, by allegedly failing to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to Kristian.

For a look at the few criminal negligence cases brought since Bill C-45 was enacted, watch a recording of our webinar, Criminal Liability for OHS Violations: A Review of 10 Years of Bill C-45 Cases.

And for more on protecting vulnerable new and young workers such as Kristian, attend our May 13, 2015 webinar, Managing OHS Risk When Hiring New & Young Workers. Also, go to the New & Young Worker Compliance Centre for additional information, resources and tools.