This May marked the 20th anniversary of the Westray Mine disaster, where 26 workers were killed as a result of dangerous and illegal working conditions. One of the outcomes of the Westray deaths were amendments to the Criminal Code to allow for prosecution of companies for worker’s deaths. Steve Bittle (UOttawa) recently released a book addressing criminal liability for OHS after Westray.
A conference will be held at the University of Ottawa on October 24-25 to discuss the enforcement of criminal laws regarding occupational health and safety. The program for the event is available here. The conference will be live-streamed here.
Several artists have written songs about the Westray disaster. One of the more poignant mining disaster ballads is (believe it or not) from the Bee Gees. Their first hit was New York Mining Disaster 1941 (inspired by the 1966 Aberfan mining disaster in Wales).
-- Bob Barnetson