Canada Labour Code Prosecution: Miller Shipping Limited (Water Transport)

The incident

On March 10, 2013, an employee of Miller Shipping Limited (Ltd.) was fatally injured while preparing to engage the emergency abort on the tow line in the winch room of the Western Tugger. When the barge being towed veered off course, the employee went to the winch room to prepare for an emergency abort on the tow line. The barge quickly capsized, placing an enormous strain on the tow cable, which caused the winch to break apart. Parts of the winch flew through the air and struck the employee. The crew from the Western Tugger administered first aid; however, the employee passed away from his injuries while being airlifted to the hospital.

Prosecution

Following the investigation, legal proceedings were initiated.

On May 21, 2015, Miller Shipping Ltd. pleaded guilty to one charge under subsection 148(1) of the Canada Labour Code related to failing to protect its employees, thus violating subparagraph 125(1)(z.03) of Part II of the Code. The company has been fined $40,000 for failing to develop, implement and monitor a program for the prevention of hazards in the workplace.

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