Walmart Workplace Safety Charges: Retailer Pleads Guilty In Death Of Patrick Desjardins, 17

Walmart Guilty Workplace Safety Patrick Desjardins

First Posted: 03/20/2012 1:07 pm Updated: 03/21/2012 11:56 am

GRAND FALLS, N.B. - Walmart says it has pleaded guilty to three workplace safety charges in the death of a teenage worker in New Brunswick last year.

The retail giant was charged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a 17-year-old employee at a store in Grand Falls was electrocuted on Jan. 5, 2011.

Patrick Desjardins was using a floor buffer on a wet floor in a garage at the time.

Crown attorney Karen Lee Lamrock says Denis Morin, who was a supervisor at the store, also pleaded guilty to two charges under the act.

She says Walmart was fined $120,000 and Morin $1,056.

WorkSafeNB, the Crown agency responsible for the act, has said Desjardins was using an inappropriate floor polisher and a faulty extension cord when he died.

The company says in a statement released Tuesday that it co-operated fully with the investigation and has brought in changes to prevent similar accidents from happening.

WorkSafeNB has said the polisher Desjardins was using hadn't been inspected and was in poor working condition.

The agency issued several orders against Walmart after the death and it says the company has complied with those orders.

CALIFORNIA WALMART WORKERS SAY THEY LIVE OFF WELFARE CLICK THROUGH PICTURES TO READ WORKERS' TESTIMONIALS
Greg Fletcher, Duarte Walmart Employee
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"Both my wife and I work for the Duarte Walmart store. Both of us are on Medi-Cal and are saddled with credit card debt, barely making our rent in a one-bedroom apartment.

I have a picture here of three cards I carry. My discount card. Walmart gives us that benefit of discount cards, and yet we cannot use that towards produce and healthy eating. We can only use them towards things like electronics, toys and candy bars. Walmart, don't give us discounts for things we can't afford like televisions.

Next, this is my Medi-Cal card. I would like to thank my fellow citizens of California for providing benefits that my employer won't. What does it take to be full time? I want to be full time. I already work full-time hours as a part-time associate, yet I get none of the benefits. When I ask how can I be full time, they say I could become an overnight janitor. That would mean a wage cut of $1.50."

(Photo Credit: Kathleen Miles)
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Filed by Daniel Tencer  |