Companies fined for Chabot’s death

A portion of the fines following the death of a Whitehorse tire shop worker will go towards training others in the importance of a lockout procedure.

A portion of the fines following the death of a Whitehorse tire shop worker will go towards training others in the importance of a lockout procedure.

Territorial Court judge John Faulkner sentenced Integra Tire, North 60 Petro and North 60 supervisor Frank Taylor for their roles in the 2011 death of Denis Chabot.

The 34-year-old man was crushed beneath a North 60 truck he had been working on at the tire shop.

Integra Tire – which is listed in court documents as Yukon Tire – was fined $48,750. The judge ordered that $20,000 of that fine go to the Northern Safety Network Yukon.

The network is funded by the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board. “The goal of the NSNY is to foster a commitment to occupational health and safety among Yukon workers and employers,” its website says.

North 60 was fined $43,000, $20,000 of which will go to the network.

The judge ordered that the money be used exclusively to train Yukoners about the importance of lockout procedures.

In Taylor’s case, the judge suspended his sentence. He ordered the supervisor to pay $3,000 to a charity of the Chabot family’s choosing.

Faulkner said he trusted that at the end of the day “these defendants would now say safety doesn’t cost, it pays.”

In January, the two companies and Taylor were each found guilty of one offence under the territory’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after a trial.

Both North 60 and Taylor “failed to adequately train their worker ‘in the safe operation and related safe work procedure’ of the Kenworth truck,” the judge ruled.

The tire company was convicted for not having a lockout procedure. The key was left in the truck the entire time it was worked on.

On the day of his death, after telling his employer work on the truck was finished, Chabot climbed back underneath to retrieve one of the bottle jacks he had been using.

He didn’t know that a worker for North 60 had already come to the shop and was in the driver’s seat.

Taylor saw the driver of the truck get in. He knew the driver hadn’t done the required walk-around but did nothing to correct him.

Though the driver would not have seen Chabot during a walk-around, the judge noted that he would have seen the jacks and a wrench.

North 60 did have a policy requiring a walk-around.

“It’s one thing to have a policy and another to make it a part of every day practice,” Faulkner said today.

A walk-around would have been the “last chance to break the accident chain,” he said.

In his decision back in January, Faulkner noted Integra Tire “training generally was conducted according to a program they reasonably believed was the industry gold standard,” even though there was no lockout procedure.

Today he credited the company with acting promptly to make changes after Chabot’s death.

Earlier this week, Judy Hartling, the lawyer for the director of occupational health and safety, asked for the companies to be fined $100,000 each. Taylor should be fined $10,000 she said.

Integra Tire suggested a fine of $35,000, North 60 asked for $30,000 and Taylor’s lawyer suggested $2,500.

In his sentencing this morning, Faulkner questioned the two companies’ claims of remorse.

The judge said it might be more accurate to say that the companies are sad about what happened but have “yet to accept they had any role to play in what occurred.”

Faulkner noted there were no guilty pleas and the case was fought in court.

“No sentence, whatever it is, can restore a lost life,” he said, before thanking Chabot’s family and girlfriend for sharing their grief with the court.

The emotion “serves to remind us all of the real human costs of industrial accidents,” he said.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services building in Whitehorse on March 28, 2019. Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed for good say they were relieved to hear that the Yukon RCMP has undertaken a forensic audit into the now-defunct NGO’s financial affairs. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Former Many Rivers board members relieved to hear about forensic audit, wonder what took so long

Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed… Continue reading

Whitehorse General Hospital in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. The Yukon Employees’ Union and Yukon Hospital Corporation are at odds over whether there’s a critical staffing shortage at the territory’s hospitals. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
YEU, Yukon Hospital Corp. at odds over whether hospitals are understaffed

YEU says four nurses quit within 12 hours last week, a claim the YHC says is “inaccurate”

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates, Ray Hartling and Mark Lange, have filed a class action against the jail, corrections officials and Yukon government on behalf of everyone who’s been placed in two restrictive units over the past six years. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Class action filed against Whitehorse Correctional Centre over use of segregation

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates have filed a class action against… Continue reading

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 21, 2020

Movie poster for <em>Ìfé,</em> a movie being shown during OUT North Film Festival, which includes approximately 20 different films accessible online this year. (Submitted)
OUT North Film Festival moves to virtual format

In its ninth year, the artistic director said this year has a more diverse set of short and feature films

Triple J’s Canna Space in Whitehorse on April 17, 2019, opens their first container of product. Two years after Canada legalized the sale of cannabis, Yukon leads the country in per capita legal sales. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon leads Canadian cannabis sales two years after legalization

Private retailers still asking for changes that would allow online sales

A sign greets guests near the entrance of the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse on June 11. The city announced Oct. 16 it was moving into the next part of its phased reopening plan with spectator seating areas open at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CGC reopening continues

Limited spectator seating now available

During Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that a proposed Official Community Plan amendment move forward that would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend, currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
More development in Whistle Bend contemplated

OCP change would be the first of several steps to develop future area

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Most Read