By Antonio Di Domenico
On Christmas Eve 2009, a swing stage (a work platform) suspended on the 14th floor of an Ontario apartment building collapsed. Four workers including the site supervisor died after falling to the ground.
Metron Construction was charged with criminal negligence causing death under Canada’s Criminal Code. The company’s owner and sole director, Joel Swartz, was charged under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. Both the company and Swartz pleaded guilty. In two decisions, R. v. Metron and R. v. Swartz, both were fined significantly.
The basis for the charges and fines? The expanded scope of criminal liability under Canada’s Criminal Code, which is no longer confined to the “directing mind” of a corporation. Here it applied to an independent contractor. read more…