Statement of offence: relying on employees’ vigilance is not enough
Release date: January 5, 2015
The employer asked the Superior Court to overturn a ruling whereby he was found guilty as charged in a statement of offence issued by a CSST inspector under Section 237 of the OHSA. In this case, the employee was performing work on the sixth floor without a safety harness on a platform with no guardrails. The employer pleaded due diligence and alleged that the burden foisted upon him by the Quebec Court was excessive, stating that this oversight by an experienced employee, who had never received any disciplinary notice for failing to observe safety regulations, amounted to a work-related risk. The employer’s claim was rejected. He had failed to prove due diligence by demonstrating the existence of a proactive context fostering the implementation of reasonable precautions, in a careful and consistent manner. It is not enough to rely on the employees’ vigilance. The employer is expected to protect them from their own mistakes. The Superior Court upheld the employer’s liability.
9071-3686 Québec Inc. v. CSST, 2014 QCCS 4449 (C.S.) Justice Guy Cournoyer
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