Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 312 21
J. Smith
  • Negligence
  • Transfer of costs

The worker was a transport driver for the appellant employer. He regularly made deliveries to the respondent employer. The worker was injured in October 2017 when the warehouse door on the respondent's loading dock dropped down, hitting his head and pinning his leg. The appellant employer appealed an ARO decision denying its request to transfer the accident costs to the respondent employer.

The appeal was dismissed. The appellant had not met its onus of proving on a balance of probabilities that the negligence of the respondent caused or contributed to the accident. The evidence did not indicate that the respondent failed to maintain the dock door or that a failure to maintain it caused the accident. Internal and external inspections were performed regularly. There was no evidence that the door was malfunctioning or that the respondent was aware of a problem with the door. The accident was caused by a broken or damaged part that was likely not visible on inspection. The worker's testimony that there was a lack of cleanliness at the respondent was not reliable, and in any event, a lack of cleanliness would not amount to negligence relating to the malfunctioning dock door. The evidence did not indicate that the respondent's management of health and safety was unreasonable. Finally, the respondent was not negligent in its determination that the accident did not need to be reported to the Ministry of Labour because the worker had not sustained a critical injury.