Canada Labour Code Prosecution: Purolator Inc.

The Incident

On March 7, 2017, an employee of Purolator Inc. (Purolator) was fatally injured at Purolator’s package sorting facility located in Etobicoke, Ontario. The employee entered a conveyor belt system to clear a “jam” and became entangled in moving parts of the machinery. The employee was trapped between the conveyor belt and an unguarded rotating roller supporting it. The employee died of positional asphyxiation.

Prosecution

Following the investigation, legal proceedings were initiated.

On March 1, 2019, 6 charges were laid against Purolator Inc.

Purolator pleaded guilty to one charge for failing to provide adequate education or training, or install a guard or other equipment or device, to address a hazard associated with clearing jams on a conveyor system, the direct result of which was the death of, or serious injury to, the employee, thus contravening section 124 of Part II of the Canada Labour Code, thereby committing an offence under section 148(2) of Part II of the Canada Labour Code. As a result of the guilty plea, the employer was ordered to pay a fine of $275,000 and the remaining 5 charges were stayed.

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