Private prosecution launched in worker’s death

Union’s case alleges Weyerhaeuser Canada criminally negligent
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/16/2010

Frustrated by the Crown counsel’s refusal to prosecute Weyerhaeuser Canada for the 2004 death of a sawmill worker in British Columbia, the Steelworkers’ union has launched a private prosecution against the company, alleging it was criminally negligent in the death of Lyle Hewer.

Hewer died at Weyerhaeuser’s sawmill in New Westminster on Nov. 17, 2004, eight months after an amendment to the Criminal Code that holds organizations criminally responsible for workplace fatalities came into effect.

Hewer had entered the bottom of a hopper that feeds waste wood into a large grinding machine, called a hog, to clear debris clogging the machine. He was killed when the debris came loose and fell on top of him.