Gas station owner cleared in labour ministry...
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Feb 01, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

Gas station owner cleared in labour ministry investigation

North York Mirror

The owner of the gas station where a worker was killed in a “gas and dash” incident in September was cleared in two Ministry of Labour investigations.

The ministry was investigating the Shell gas station at Marlee and Roselawn avenues where Jayesh Prajapati, 44, worked under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which is standard when an employee suffers serious injury or death in the workplace. The ministry also looked into whether the Ontario Employment Standards Act had been followed, as allegations workers had to pay for stolen fuel surfaced.

Prajapati was hit and dragged Sept. 15 by a driver who allegedly fled after filling up $112.85 in gas and not paying.

The gas station owner, Maz Alibhai, had disputed the allegations, saying he covers the cost of stolen fuel.

Five gas stations owned by Alibhai were visited by employment standards officers and only minor problems were found, such as improper vacation pay record keeping, said ministry spokesperson Matt Blajer.

Investigators ordered the employer to have a worker health and safety representative and written health and safety policy, written workplace violence and harassment prevention policies, and one location was ordered to post a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, he said.

All orders were completed by Jan. 23, Blajer said.

The ministry launched a blitz targeting 275 gas stations across the province to ensure they are complying with employment standards, he said. To date, 248 stations have been inspected and 696 orders filed, with four for unlawful wage deductions.

The blitz was sparked by Prajapati’s death and a similar incident in Mississauga in May 2011, when gas attendant Hashem Atifeh Rad, 62, died while trying to stop a driver who had not paid for fuel, Blajer said.

Eglinton-Lawrence MPP Mike Colle, who represents the area where Prajapati was killed, introduced a private member’s bill in September called “Jayesh’s Law” calling for mandatory gas pre-payment and suspension of drivers licences for those convicted of gas theft.

Police are still searching for the suspect in Prajapati’s death, Max Edwin Tutiven, 39, who is wanted for second-degree murder.

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