Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Quebec company fined $110,000 in worker’s death


March 18, 2008
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Saint-Eustache, Que. – A Quebec manufacturer has earned the dubious distinction of being the first company in Canada convicted under a strict new law known as the “corporate killing law.”

A Quebec court has ordered TranspavÈ, a paving stone manufacturers in Saint-Eustache, Que., to pay $110,000 after pleading guilty to criminal negligence in the 2005 death of a 23-year-old worker. Quebec court Judge Paul Chevalier handed down the fine on March 17.
In October 2005, the young employee was crushed by a machine that stacks concrete blocks after pallets with concrete had backed up on the conveyer belt. Inspectors found the machine’s safety guard had been disabled for nearly two years.
TranspavÈ was charged with criminal negligence causing death under Bill C-45, known as the “corporate killing law.” It is the first criminal conviction since the amendments came into force in 2004.
In his ruling, Chevalier said the company, managers and employees weren’t aware that the safety guard wasn’t working and that there was no intent on the company’s part for the system to be down.
The company has spent approximately $600,000 in safety upgrades since the incident.