Criminal conviction in death of worker

Case a reminder Bill C-45 carries real risk of accountability
By Norm Keith and Anna Abbott
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/10/2011

A second employer has been convicted of a Bill C-45 charge in Quebec. Pasquale Scrocca, a landscape contractor, was found guilty of criminal negligence causing death with respect to a workplace incident resulting in the death of employee AnielloBoccanfuso. (The first C-45 conviction came in 2007 when Transpavé pled guilty to criminal negligence in the death of a worker.)

The judgment, R. c. Scrocca, marks the first trial decision examining the occupational health and safety (OHS) criminal negligence provisions under the Criminal Code.

In 2004, Bill C-45 established OHS negligence as a criminal offence. After a dormant period, several instances of OHS criminal negligence charges have been laid against individuals and corporations — the most publicized being those laid in connection with the deaths of four workers in Toronto who fell from a faulty swing stage in 2009. Prior to Scrocca, no other OHS criminal negligence case had proceeded to trial.