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Criminal Negligence at Work: Chilling Liabilities and Practical Strategies

Speakers
Jeremy Warning
Heenan Blaikie
Cheryl A. Edwards
Heenan Blaikie
Christina Hall
Heenan Blaikie
Date:
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Time:
7:45 A.M. - 10:00 A.M.
Seminar Summary

Ten years have passed since Bill C-45 amended the Criminal Code to make it easier for organizations to be charged and convicted of criminal negligence, and to impose a new duty requiring every person directing the work of another, to take reasonable steps to prevent harm from that work. In that time, the OHS enforcement environment has changed profoundly. New health and safety requirements have been enacted, sentences imposed in relation to workplace accidents have reached new heights, and, in a series of high-profile cases, individuals and corporations have been charged and convicted of criminal negligence following workplace incidents. This increasingly complex and changing enforcement environment makes it crucial for organizations, managers, directors and officers to understand the risk of criminal negligence at work, and to implement proactive strategies to mitigate the risk of criminal prosecution and conviction into their programs for managing workplace safety risk. 

In this seminar, we will discuss:

  • Recent cases and how criminal law risks facing individual workers, supervisors, directors and officers, and organizations have evolved in the ten years since Bill C-45 amended the Criminal Code
  • Trends in sentencing and the implications of the recent decision in R. v. Metron Construction Corporation, including the comments of the court on: corporate criminal liability based solely on the conduct of on-site supervision, the approach to sentencing organizations for criminal negligence and the potential for sentencing organizations into bankruptcy
  • The efforts of organized labour to advocate for more criminal investigations and more liberal use of the criminal negligence provisions of the Criminal Code after workplace incidents and accidents
  • Specific risk management considerations and strategies to reduce the risk of criminal prosecution and conviction that will be of interest to business owners, senior managers, corporate counsel, safety managers and human resources professionals
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