Crown not pursuing safety charge against iron and metal firm

'Insufficient evidence to give a reasonable probability of conviction'

Crown not pursuing safety charge against iron and metal firm

The Crown will not pursue a charge that WorkSafeNB recommended to be filed against New Brunswick employer American Iron and Metal (AIM) Inc., according to a report.

This is the case even though a WorkSafeNB investigation found enough evidence to recommend a charge under the Occupational Health and Safety Act against the employer after one of its workers died in the workplace, noted CBC.

AIM failed to ensure the health and safety of truck drivers, and failed to have a safe procedure for drivers to enter trailers after they were unloaded when the unnamed worker was swept to his death at the west side Saint John plant.

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After reviewing the recommendation, the Crown determined that "there was insufficient evidence to give a reasonable probability of conviction,” said WorkSafeNB spokesperson Laragh Dooley in the report.

The WorkSafeNB investigation found that the worker died because he entered the trailer while it was still being unloaded and was swept away by a crane wielding a large ball of metal fencing used to clean out small debris.

While AIM has an internal policy that no trailers should be loaded or unloaded while truck drivers are outside their cab, the investigator found video evidence showing drivers outside of the cabs during unloading.

Read more: New Brunswick employer pleads not guilty to workplace safety charge

Also, AIM did not have a written procedure that was specific to how trucks are processed and unloaded, and that workers did things differently depending on who's on shift.

AIM also has general written guidance for outside contractors that prohibits leaving the cab or entering the trailer during unloading, but it was unable to provide a record that the deceased man's company received or signed the document.

Since the death of the worker, AIM has corrected the lack of written safety processes for truck drivers, according to the report citing Dooley.

Recently, AIM Inc. has pleaded not guilty to a workplace safety violation stemming from an incident at its Point Lepreau nuclear plant late last year.