New Mex Canada directors jailed over workplace death
Labour group appaulds ruling, calls for criminal charges
Two company directors have been jailed after pleading guilty to safety violations that led to the death of a warehouse worker.
Baldev Pura and Rajinder Saini — both directors of New Mex Canada Inc. — were sentenced to 25 days in jail.
And New Mex Canada, an importer and retailer of furniture and accessories, has been fined $250,000.
On Jan. 18, 2013, a worker was moving merchandise in a Brampton, Ont., warehouse using a combination forklift/operator-up platform called an order picker.
The order picker had been modified and had an additional platform supported by the forks which did not have a guard rail around it, and the worker wasn't wearing fall protection or safety shoes.
The worker was found on the floor and was pronounced dead of blunt force trauma to the head.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found multiple violations of Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act and of Ontario Regulation 851, which covers industrial workplaces.
Pura and Saini were both charged with failing as directors of New Mex Canada to take reasonable care that the corporation complied with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and with Regulation 851.
In addition to the 25 days in jail — to be served on weekends — both were ordered to take a health and safety course within the next 60 days.
New Mex Canada pleaded guilty to failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker regarding fall protection and/or working from a height. The company also pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure the safety measures required by law were carried out.
The Ontario Federation of Labour said Pura and Saini should also face criminal charges.
OFL president Sid Ryan said in a statement the labour group is "very happy" with the ruling. “However, this decision does not go far enough. This employer should be facing criminal charges in addition to Occupational Health and Safety violations. A mere 25 days in jail and $250,000 fine does not send a strong enough message.”
With files from CBC News