On March 22, 2012, Carica Construction Inc. was convicted on two violations under the Environmental Protection Act. The company failed to report a spill of hydraulic oil, and fired the employee who did report it.
Carica Construction Inc operates at 667 St Clair St, Sudbury, ON P3E 4G9, Canada. In 2008, the company was retained to build a new dam at the Ragged Chutes Generating Station on the Montreal River in The Township of Gillies Limit. During construction, the hydraulic fluid line on an excavator burst and leaked hydraulic oil onto the ground.
The company cleaned up the spill and put the contaminated gravel, sand and absorbent pads into the bucket of a loader where they remained overnight. The company’s health and safety supervisor oversaw the clean-up, but didn’t report the spill.
The spill was reported to the ministry by a company employee later that evening. The company fired the employee for reporting the spill.
The company was fined $35,000 for failing to report the spill and $40,000 for firing an employee, of which $8,000 was to be paid to the employee as restitution for lost wages, pursuant to a Probation Order. The total fines were $75,000 plus the 25% victim fine surcharges.
This is the first conviction in Ontario for the offence of firing an employee because the employee complied with the Environmental Protection Act.