Apparatus Accident LODD Prompts Criminal OSHA Citation

The death of a volunteer firefighter who was responding to fire in Nipissing, Ontario has prompted criminal charges being filed against the fire department.

Firefighter Paul Nelson, 21, was killed on December 27, 2011 when the engine he was driving went off the road in a weather related accident. He was a college student at Nipissing University, and was alone in the pumper at the time.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour brought the charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act claiming that the Nipissing Township Fire Department failed to provide Nelson with enough training.

Also facing charges in connection with the accident is a contractor responsible for clearing the roads at the time of the accident. News reports indicate there were some 27 accidents in the area associated with snow and ice.

I am hoping to get some additional details on the nature of the charges. Here are the penalties listed for OSHA violations in Ontario:

Penalties

66.  (1) Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with,

(a) a provision of this Act or the regulations;

(b) an order or requirement of an inspector or a Director; or

(c) an order of the Minister,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than twelve months, or to both.

Idem

(2) If a corporation is convicted of an offence under subsection (1), the maximum fine that may be imposed upon the corporation is $500,000 and not as provided therein.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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