Contractors plead guilty to charges stemming from London snowplow operator’s death

The front scoop of a sidewalk plow can be seen on the north side of the tracks at Colborne St and York St. Jake Jeffrey / 980 CFPL

A pair of contractors have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the death of London snowplow operator last year, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour has confirmed to Global News Radio 980 CFPL.

A report from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) states that Malcolm Trudell, 26, was fatally struck by an eastbound CN Rail freight train after his snowplow travelled onto the railway crossing on Colborne St., south of York St. on Jan. 9, 2018.

In December, nearly a year after Trudell’s death, the Ministry of Labour laid charges against the City of London, Jackson Pools Inc. and an individual operating business as Wee Bee Contracting. The latter two companies were contracted by the City of London to conduct snow clearing services around the time of Trudell’s death.

READ MORE: Transportation Safety Board completes investigation into fatal train collision with snowplow

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Ministry spokesperson Janet Deline confirmed that Jackson Pools Inc. and Wee Bee Contracting pleaded guilty to charges handed down under the Occupational Health and Safety Act during a proceedings at a provincial court house in London on Thursday.

The companies both admitted to charges of failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker in order to protect their health and safety.

Counts of failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker were withdrawn during proceeds.

READ MORE: Snowplow operator killed after being struck by train in London remembered as ‘wonderful young man’

The guilty pleas mean Jackson Pools Inc. faces a fine of $60,000, whereas Wee Bee Contracting faces a $15,000 fine.

Deline added that both companies also have to pay a 25 per cent victim surcharge on top of their fines.

“This charge is mandatory and it actually goes into a general fund which helps victims of crime,” Deline said.

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A separate prosecution is underway for the City of London’s outstanding charges with the Ministry.

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Deline said there are dates set aside in early 2020, starting Jan. 14

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The guilty pleas bring some closure to the death of Trudell.

In their report on the matter, the TSB stated that a lack of training on safe working practices led to the fatal collision that claimed the life of the 26-year-old.

Despite the report’s findings, it is not the function of the TSB to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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