Fine a slap on the wrist for employer whose negligence caused death of young worker

Vancouver - A recent court ruling in a case of criminal negligence in the tragic workplace death of a young Mission-area worker is a slap on the wrist for the employer whose failure to provide basic safety training caused the tragedy.

Kelsey Ann Kristian died after working just two days at a quarry in Stave Lake. On her second day on-the-job, she was allowed to operate a 31,000 kg heavy duty truck to haul rocks with no training or supervision. She was crushed when the truck rolled downhill and flipped. Kristian hadn’t been trained in proper braking procedures.

“A fine instead of jail time is a slap on the wrist for an employer whose negligence caused the death of a young worker,” says BC Federation of Labour President Irene Lanzinger. “There was no justice for Ms. Kristian or her family, friends, and loved ones. Clearly, given the circumstances, a tougher punishment was warranted.”

Lanzinger says almost 200 workers a year die on the job, and countless thousands are injured, some seriously.

“When death and injury are caused by employer negligence, as in this tragic case, there have to be tougher penalties,” she says. “When an employer’s actions result in a workplace death or injury, the boss needs to face real consequences, including jail time.”

Lanzinger says the Federation has actively lobbied the Clark government for tougher action so that employers don’t kill workers with impunity.