Canada Labour Code Prosecution: Canada Steamship Lines / V. Ships Canada

The incident

On March 22, 2012, an employee of Canada Steamship Lines (CSL Group Inc.) / V. Ships Canada fell and was injured after attempting to re-attach an electric chain hoist to a bracket onboard the M/V English River.

While standing on the guardrails over a small hatch, the employee attempted to mount the upper hook of a chain hoist onto a newly installed lifting bracket. The employee fell backwards over the guardrail of the catwalk, behind the hatch. The electric chain hoist and a bag of chains, weighing approximately 80lbs, fell with the employee and landed on the lower main engine room floor.

The employee suffered serious injuries, including several lacerations and fractures.


Following the investigation, legal proceedings were initiated.

On October 30, 2015, CSL Group Inc. and V. Ships Canada pled guilty to four charges under the Canada Labour Code, Part II. These charges consisted of failing to:

  • establish a policy health and safety committee for the purposes of addressing health and safety matters that apply to the work, undertaking or business of the employer;
  • ensure that employees who have supervisory or managerial responsibilities are adequately trained in health and safety and are informed of the responsibilities they have where they act on behalf of their employer;
  • provide, in the prescribed manner, each employee with information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety at work; and,
  • develop, implement and monitor a prescribed program for the prevention of hazards in the work place appropriate to its size and the nature of the hazards in it that also provides for the education of employees in health and safety matters.

The companies have been fined a total of $150,000; each company will pay $75,000 dollars.

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