Excessive to Fire Millwright for Careless Lockout Violation


A millwright at a lumber mill entered a restricted area and crossed over live chains without properly locking out all power sources, which violated the mill’s lockout policy. He realized what he’d done and locked out the power. But his supervisor had already seen the violation. The millwright admitted violating policy, but asked if there was really any harm done. Believing he didn’t take the violation seriously, the mill fired him. An arbitrator found that the millwright had made a careless error, which he’d admitted. Although his misconduct was serious, it wasn’t intentional. In addition, there was no evidence he was indifferent to safety and, in fact, he was proud of his record of 27 years without injury. So the arbitrator concluded that termination for this violation was excessive, finding that an eight-day suspension was more appropriate [United Steelworkers Local 1 – 207 v. Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd., [2016] CanLII 13703 (AB GAA), March 9, 2016].