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TORONTO, ON – Westario Power Inc. of Walkerton, Ontario, was fined $110,000, and an added $27,500, in victim surcharges yesterday in the death of Brodie Schwartz, 25, on September 21, 2010.

Brodie Schwartz, a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 255.03, was electrocuted at his workplace, a Westario substation at Port Elgin, Ontario. Under the Ministry of Labour’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, Westario pleaded guilty under the Act, section 25 (2) (A), for failing to provide information, instruction, training and supervision to a worker.

This case sends a clear message to all employers that they will be held responsible for providing appropriate training and competent supervision to their employees,” said CUPE National Health and Safety Representative Blain Morin.

This is particularly important as more and more public utilities are sold off to smaller private companies. This is an example of how the law works to hold employers responsible for the safety of their employees and their workplaces,” Morin continued.

Thousands of workers are killed or die from occupational disease on the job in Ontario annually.

The message from this decision is that proper protocols and instruction must be provided to workers while performing work,” Morin added. “The judge was clear in announcing the sentence that the family and co-workers of Brodie suffered horrific stress as a result of the loss of Brodie Schwarz.” 

For further information, please contact:

Blain Morin
CUPE National Health and Safety Representative
(647) 268-5867

James Keenan
CUPE National Representative
(705) 722-7387

Wendy Forbes
CUPE Communications
(416) 892-7816