Business owner facing criminal and provincial charges in workplace death

Both the RCMP and provincial health and safety officials have laid charges against an owner of a body shop in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia after a worker died.

The worker was killed when the vehicle he was working on caught fire.  The RCMP report that police collaborated with investigators from the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education and the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service.

Elie Phillip Hoyeck, the body shop owner, is charged with one count of Criminal Negligence Causing Death under the “Bill C-45” provisions of the Criminal Code.

He is also facing 12 charges under the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act including failure to comply with the requirements of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standard, “Safety in Welding, Cutting and Allied Processes”; failure to ensure that a welding or allied process is performed by a designated competent person; failure to ensure that the person operating the equipment has inspected the surrounding area to ensure adequate precautions have been taken to remove all hazardous material or processes that produce combustible, flammable or explosive material, dust, gas or vapour, and to prevent fire or explosion; and failure to ensure that no person performs a welding or allied process on a container, pipe, valve or fitting that holds or may have held an explosive, flammable or otherwise hazardous material, and that it is performed in accordance with a written work procedure.

The case is a reminder that serious workplace accidents – particularly fatalities – can lead to both criminal and provincial charges against persons in authority over workers or workplaces.

The RCMP’s press release can be found here.


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Adrian Miedema

About Adrian Miedema

Adrian is a partner in the Toronto Employment group of Dentons Canada LLP. He advises and represents public- and private-sector employers in employment, health and safety and human rights matters. He appears before employment tribunals and all levels of the Ontario courts on behalf of employers. He also advises employers on strategic and risk management considerations in employment policy and contracts.

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