Alberta OHS Convictions Nearly Double in 2011, $310,000 Median Fine for Fatality

In 2011, the number of Alberta occupational health and safety prosecutions with penalties imposed nearly doubled from the previous year to 20 from 11. The total penalties of more than $3.4 million included fines, alternative penalties and victim surcharges.

The penalties for cases involving fatalities ranged between $30,000 and $431,250, with a median penalty of nearly $310,000. All sentences were the result of guilty pleas.

Most of the 20 cases involved creative sentences with alternative penalties. In 2002, Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety legislation was amended to allow for creative sentences allowing for funds to be directed to training or education programs that promote workplace health and safety.

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