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(An extreme example, but) Don’t Try and Fool the Ministry of Labour!

By November 8, 2016November 5th, 2019Practice Management

An owner of a business was sentenced to jail and fined for trying to fool the Ministry of Labour right before an investigation! This is definitely an extreme example, but it shows you the full extent of the law.

Roofer falls from second-storey roof

Apparently, back in the summer of 2015, an employee of a roofing company unfortunately fell 5.5m from a roof. He was not wearing appropriate fall-protection equipment and there were no lifelines in place.

After the accident took place, the owner of the company told a worker to set up the lifelines and fall-protection equipment before the Ministry of Labour investigation took place.  He wanted to make it look like he had properly protected his workers and was in compliance with the law.

Owner found guilty

Well, it didn’t work.  The owner was sentenced to 3 days in jail and fined $5,000 (plus an extra $1,250 as a victim impact surcharge) for failing to provide fall protection and interfering with a Ministry of Labour investigation.

Dentists do not have to worry about employees working at heights, but there are many other health and safety matters to consider in a dental practice (working with sharps, proper hazardous material handling, radiation and noise exposure, infection control, percutaneous exposure, eye insults, improper posture, workplace harassment and psychological issues).

I know that Dentists keep very high standards of health and safety, but this case can still provide some guidance on what not to do – not hinder an investigation of the Ministry of Labour or other serious investigation.

For the full Ministry statement, see this link.

DMC