Bill C-45

In order to assist in 30 Forensic Engineering’s ongoing promotion of the health & safety of our own staff and clients, the following summary points (as supplied by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety website) regarding this important piece of Health & safety legislation are provided for your consideration and review.

The summary article reviews what Bill C-45 is – it is federal legislation that amends the Canadian Criminal Code. Bill C-45 became law on March 31, 2004 and is now the new Section 217.1 in the Criminal Code which reads:

“2.17.1 Every one who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task.”

The bill established new legal duties for workplace health and safety, and imposes serious penalties for violations that result in injuries or death. It also establishes rules for attributing criminal liability to organizations, including corporations, for the acts of their representatives and also creates a legal duty for all persons directing work to take “reasonable steps” to ensure the safety of workers and the public.

The article also covers why the bill was created; what the main provisions are; who the Criminal Code affects; who is responsible for enforcing the Criminal Code; who is responsible for enforcing occupational health and safety laws and; how the reader can ensure a safe workplace and limit their liability.

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