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Employer's duty to ensure safety.

An act to amend the Criminal Code places the onus on business leaders to ensure employee health and safety, or face charges of criminal negligence.

Bill C-45 defines who is responsible for the safety of persons in the workplace and allows for prosecution under the charges of "criminal negligence" when those responsibilities are recklessly or willfully disregarded. The act received Royal Assent Nov 7, 2003.

The amendment notes that "everyone who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person or any other person arising from that work or task."

The maximum sentence for a person convicted of criminal negligence causing death is life imprisonment.

According to Occupational Safety Group, these responsibilities must be taken seriously. A review of existing policies, procedures, training requirements and budgets, along with employee dedication to safe practices are needed, says the Occupational Safety Group.
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Title Annotation:Business Law
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Words:163
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