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Health and Safety Reminder for Supervisors

April 15, 2016

In light of the recent Metron case, where supervisors and owners of a company were found guilty of offenses related to the death and injury of workers, The Society is reminding members of their legal obligations as supervisors.

In 2006, the federal government passed a bill that broadened the framework in which corporate criminal liability is defined to include supervisors. At the time, The Society sought a legal opinion to understand the impact of the changes, particularly as it relates to health and safety obligations. That opinion noted this material change that could affect Society members:

"Your members who have the authority to direct how others do work or perform tasks are under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm. It is important to note, however, that the applicable fault test is whether the person in authority showed “wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of others.”

For the sake of the health and safety of those you supervise, as well as your own livelihood, The Society strongly encourages members with supervisory authority to understand all of the health and safety dimensions to the work they supervise and to act according to their legal obligations. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding health and safety issues in their workplace or their legal obligations should contact their local Society representatives and/or their management.

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