R. v. Meridian Construction Inc., (1993) 148 N.B.R.(2d) 1 (PC)

JudgeStymiest, P.C.J.
CourtProvincial Court of New Brunswick (Canada)
Case DateSeptember 28, 1993
JurisdictionNew Brunswick
Citations(1993), 148 N.B.R.(2d) 1 (PC)

R. v. Meridian Constr. Inc. (1993), 148 N.B.R.(2d) 1 (PC);

    148 R.N.-B.(2e) 1; 378 A.P.R. 1

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]


Her Majesty The Queen, on the information of Joanne Rideout, Administrative Assistant of the New Brunswick Occupational Health Commission, Bathurst, N.B. v. Meridian Construction Inc.


Indexed As: R. v. Meridian Construction Inc.

New Brunswick Provincial Court

Stymiest, P.C.J.

September 28, 1993.


The accused employer was charged under s. 9(2)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act with failing to provide information, instruction, training and supervision to an employee. The employee inadequately secured metal decking over an elevator shaft. The employee was told to install the decking without instructions on how to secure it. An employee of a subcontractor fell from the decking and was injured.

The New Brunswick Provincial Court found the accused guilty and imposed a $10,000 fine.

Trade Regulation - Topic 7874

Industrial safety - Offences - Defences - Due diligence - [See Trade Regulation - Topic 7889 ].

Trade Regulation - Topic 7889

Industrial safety - Offences - Failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision - The accused general contractor instructed an employee to cover a 7' by 9' elevator shaft opening with metal decking as a temporary support for concrete being poured - The metal decking was not supported underneath - The employee had not been instructed on how to secure it - The metal decking collapsed during a concrete pour and an employee of the concrete subcontractor fell and was injured - The New Brunswick Provincial Court found the accused guilty under s. 9(2)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of failing to give proper instructions to its employee - Reliance on the concrete subcontractor, absent disclosure that the metal decking was not supported, did not constitute due diligence - The court fined the accused $10,000, commenting that the fine had to be large enough to deter employers from taking risks with employee safety and absorbing fines as a cost of doing business.

Trade Regulation - Topic 7908

Industrial safety - Offences - Sentences - Fines - [See Trade Regulation - Topic 7889 ].

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Irving (J.D.) Ltd. (1978), 23 N.B.R.(2d) 16; 44 A.P.R. 16 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 1].

R. v. Pelissiers Ltd., [1926] 1 D.L.R. 574 (Man. C.A.), refd to. [para. 1].

R. v. Valley Forest Products Ltd. (1990), 110 N.B.R.(2d) 181; 276 A.P.R. 181 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 1].

R. v. Lorneville Mechanical Contractors Ltd. (1993), 145 N.B.R.(2d) 161; 372 A.P.R. 161 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 14].

R. v. Case Enterprises Ltd. et al. (1993), 147 N.B.R.(2d) 180; 375 A.P.R. 180 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 14].

R. v. Cotton Felts Ltd. (1982), 2 C.C.C.(3d) 287 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 16].

Statutes Noticed:

Occupational Health and Safety Act, S.N.B. 1983, c. O-0.2, s. 9(2)(c) [para. 1].


Georges Chiasson, for the Crown;

Marc Richard, for the accused.

This case was heard at Newcastle, N.B., before Stymiest, P.C.J., of the New Brunswick Provincial Court, who delivered the following judgment orally on September 28, 1993.

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