Blog Post #501 – Owner Fined in Death of Teen

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

The owner of a Manitoba paving company that employed a 15-year-old who was buried in hot asphalt two years ago has been fined almost $34,000 in the teen’s death.

Manitoba Crown prosecutor Sean Brennan reports that Gerald Shepell, carrying on business as Interlake Paving in Stonewall, Manitoba, pleaded guilty to one breach of the province’s Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA) and two violations of its Employment Standards Code. In late November, Shepell was ordered to pay $27,000 under the WSHA for failing to ensure the safety of a worker, $3,000 under the code for hiring two underage workers, and $500 under the code for failing to keep business records for those young workers.

The fine surcharges for the three violations amounted to $3,325.

He faced a maximum fine of $180,000, but Mr. Shepell’s lawyer had asked that the penalty not exceed $30,000.

Mr. Shepell will pay $500 a month until the fine is paid off.

My opinion

A 15 year old boy! A 15 year old boy! He never had time to experience what life had to offer. What a shame! Do you know what else was a crying shame? The pathetic fine to act as a deterrent! $34,000. Do you know what $500.00 a month is to a large paving company? Coffee money! What a joke. The trial judge probably does not have kids or he/she would have not placed such a low dollar figure for the life of a child. Another owner fined in death of teen!

I do hope there was outrage by the people of the province of Manitoba. I did some research from other sources and could not find anything that would have signaled an inquiry or coroner’s inquest. In Ontario, the ‘Construction’ sector and ‘Mining’ sector demand a Coroner’s Inquest when a death occurs on the job-site.

Manitoba sure got this one wrong!

Oh well…

Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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