Why aren’t more employers in jail? (Guest Commentary)

Westray Bill turns 10 but questions linger about its effectiveness
By Ralph Balbaa
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/20/2014

Ten years ago, Bill C-45 — commonly known as the Westray Bill and corporate killing law — became federal law. It was landmark legislation intended to improve health and safety for Canadian workers.

It amended the federal criminal code and enabled police and the Crown to criminally charge owners and officers of corporations if there was reckless disregard to the health and safety of employees.

The 1992 Westray mining accident that killed 26 miners in Nova Scotia was an unfortunate wakeup call for Canadian companies. It was a preventable accident and a reminder that safety needed to be, and must always be, the top priority at any worksite.