Canada Labour Code Prosecution: Road Runner Prime Logistics Inc.

The Incident

On April 30, 2018, an employee of Road Runner Prime Logistics Inc., (Road Runner) was helping to unload several large masonry slabs of countertop material from a flatbed truck at a retail customer’s site in Kitchener, Ontario. The employee was standing in front of the slabs and was using his fingers to try to separate two of the slabs so a forklift-mounted clamp could be attached to lift them off the truck. As the employee was trying to separate the slabs, he lost his balance and fell off the truck to the ground. Multiple slabs of countertop material, each weighing several hundred pounds, then fell off the truck and landed on the employee. The employee was pronounced dead at the scene by attending emergency services.

Prosecution

Following an investigation by the Labour Program, charges were laid on April 1, 2020 against Road Runner for contraventions of Part II of the Canada Labour Code (the Code). On November 19, 2020, as part of a joint submission, Road Runner plead guilty to two charges under subsection 148(1) of the Code.

The first charge was for failing to develop, implement and monitor, in consultation with the policy committee, work place committee or health and safety representative, 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, by failing to adequately identify and assess the hazards associated with loading, unloading, or handling slabs of stone or masonry material for the purpose of transporting or delivering them, in contravention of paragraph 125(1)(z.03) of Code and section 19.4 of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (COHSR).

The second charge was for failing to provide in the prescribed manner, each employee with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety at work while loading, unloading, or handling slabs of stone or masonry material for the purpose of transporting or delivering them, in contravention of paragraph 125(1)(q) of the Code, and paragraph 19.6(1)(b) of the COHSR.

Under the joint submission, Road Runner was ordered by the Ontario Court of Justice to pay a fine of $40,000 for the first charge and a fine of $80,000 for the second charge, for a total fine amount of $120,000.

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