Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1939 17
B. Kalvin
  • Negligence
  • Transfer of costs
  • Employer (temporary help agency)

A temporary help agency supplied a worker to a metal fabricating company. The employer appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying transfer of the costs of a claim for an injury suffered by the worker from the employer to the metal fabricating company.

The employer sent the worker to the company as a general labourer. The worker had previously been certified as a welder but the certification had expired. The worker had assignment to the metal fabricating company would eventually allow him to resume his welding career. After two weeks, the metal fabricating company had an opening for a welder. It decided to move the worker from general labourer to welding, and placed the worker in a 10-day training program under its supervision and direction. While in the training program, the worker was injured when his clothes caught fire.
The worker had been provided with a protective jacket but was not wearing it for two reasons. First, the jacket was apparently too big for the worker. Secondly, it was not mandatory under the company policy to wear a jacket. After the accident, the Ministry of Labour investigated, and issued an order requiring the company to change its policy.
The Vice-Chair found that the metal fabricating company was negligent because it failed to do something that a reasonable and prudent person would do, namely, make it mandatory for workers to wear adequate protective clothing while welding.
The employer was entitled to transfer of 100% of the costs of the claim to the metal fabricating company. The appeal was allowed.