Serious safety infraction warrants termination

The worker had long service and was trained in the safe operation of equipment, but chose to operate a machine with the guard removed. The company was entitled to escalate the discipline it assessed him because it had signaled that it would deal with violations severely.
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 03/21/2011

Observed performing manual tasks at his station with the guard removed from his machine, an operator at a heavy industrial plant was terminated.

An eight-year employee at a company that produces industrial grade tubing for the oil and nuclear industries, J.J. was a Utility Operator and Project Helper. He was responsible for ensuring the accuracy of documentation and training materials for new machines. He was also a member of the plant’s Continuous Improvement group and had received supplementary training from the provincial safety association. J.J. participated in developing hazard and risk assessments and machine guarding at the plant.

The plant’s safety record was not stellar. Since 2000, two employees had been maimed and fines under the provincial health and safety act had been levied.