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Judge Quashes Charge on a Technicality

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Radar’s Rentals owned a mechanical calf-roping ride and supplied it to XI Technologies Inc. for a company event during the Calgary Stampede. An employee of XI Technologies Inc. was fatally injured while operating the ride and the owners of the equipment and supplies was charged for violating section 2(4) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Section 2(4) of the OH&S Act is a general provision which requires suppliers to comply with the provisions of the OH&S Act, Regulations and Code. The offence alleged was that Radar’s Rentals failed, pursuant to section 12(1)(b) of the Regulations to ensure that equipment they supplied would safely perform the function for which it was intended or designed.

However, section 12(1) of the Regulations specifically imposes duties upon an employer in relation to the equipment. The charge, incorporating as it does the particulars which refer to duties upon employers, does not disclose an offence known to the law against a supplier. The obligation to provide equipment in a safe operating condition is placed upon the supplier under section 2(3) of the OH&S Act. Radar’s Rentals was not, however, charged with violating that provision.

Because the charge was incorrect, the court quashed the charge filed and could not substitute the correct charge. The Crown Prosecutor’s office was out of time to recharge the supplier with violating section 2(3) of the OH&S Act.

R. v 402485 Alberta Ltd. (Radar’s Rentals), 2011 ABPC 91,
http://canlii.org/en/ab/abpc/doc/2011/2011abpc91/2011abpc91.html