Employers could face life in prison after deathly scaffolding accident
Oct 13, 2010
October 13, 2010
I’m a bit afraid of heights. So when I see workers up on scaffolding, it scares the hell out of me. And, last Christmas eve, that fear was partially legitimized when four men fell 13 stories from a high-rise apartment building on Kipling Avenue. Only one survived and he suffered severe leg and spinal injuries. He is suing (obviously).
This is by far one of the worst workplace accidents I’ve heard of. And given the seriousness of the accident, the authorities are coming down with an iron fist.
The arrests mark the first time that company officials in Ontario have been charged with criminal negligence causing death for workplace fatalities. The charges carry the potential of life prison terms.
I think they deserve it. But at the same time, the widows feel sympathy for the families of those charged as well. But the charges aren’t meant just to provide peace of mind for the families. It’s also supposed to set a precedent.
According to the Toronto Star, Sid Ryan, the President of the Ontario Federation of Labour, said:
“This is the only action that could have gotten their attention…These charges will ensure that the carnage in the workplace is finally brought under control. It’s the signal to employers – to every CEO and manager – that workers’ deaths are not acceptable. It’s raised the stakes and now employers have something to lose.”
And what a thing to lose…the rest of your free life. That would really show ’em what’s what.