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Ottawa coffee shop company fined $60,000 for failing to comply with orders

Inspector issued 15 orders on first visit

After several visits by an inspector and a corporate name change, Gaia Java Coffee Company failed to comply with four inspector's orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The company was convicted on all four counts and a fine of $15,000 per count was imposed for a total of $60,000. The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act.           

On March 26, 2016, in response to an incident, a ministry inspector visited the coffee shop at 1300 Main St., Stittsville, Ont. The inspector issued 15 orders, and in April 2016, sent a package of small business tools and resources via email to one of the company's directors to assist with compliance.

Through the inspector's follow-up visits in May, September, October and December 2016, the company had not fully complied. The company operating the coffee shop then changed to Gaia Java Coffee Company, but had the same directors. The inspector returned to the coffee shop to re-issue the outstanding orders against the new corporate defendant. The orders were required to be complied with by Jan. 20, 2017.

The orders were not complied with by the inspector's final visit on April 24, 2017. They included requirements to:

•post a copy of the employer's occupational health and safety policy in the workplace

•conduct a workplace violence risk assessment

•ensure that all workers complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program

•ensure that all supervisors complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program.

As of April 2018, the coffee shop is no longer operating. However, the defendant remains an active corporation.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour

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