Corporate killing goes beyond execs

Managers, supervisors at risk for charges and fines
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/08/2007

When someone is badly injured or killed at work, public attention turns almost immediately to finding the responsible party. Typically, there are general notions of corporate responsibility, with people looking for either the organization, or perhaps its most senior executives, to be held accountable.

Changes to the Criminal Code have made it easier to lay charges against organizations and individuals if they fail to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to others. These changes apply not only to the directing minds of the organization, but to just about everyone.

In 2004, the Criminal Code was amended by Bill C-45, An Act Amending the Criminal Liability of Corporations, also known as the corporate killing bill. This bill is also referred to as the Westray bill, as it was the result of a public inquiry into the disaster that took place at the Westray Mine in Nova Scotia where 26 miners were killed in 1992.