Blog Post #1138 – IKEA Worker Injured by Trolleys, Company Fined $55,000 in Toronto

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

An employee working at the IKEA retail store at 15 Provost Drive, Toronto, was critically injured while moving shopping trolleys. The accident happened on February 25, 2017.

An employee who was working as a cart retriever was directing a row of 43 nested flatbed shopping trolleys into a “cart corral,” directing the row of trolleys from the front while a co-worker pushed from the rear.

The worker had to walk directly in front of the row of the trolleys as it went down a narrow hallway. While doing so, the trolleys accelerated and struck the worker. The worker fell to the floor, and the row of trolleys struck the worker in such a way that the worker was jammed against a wall. The worker suffered a critical injury.

The worker had not been provided with sufficient precautions, safeguards or protective clothing to ensure that the moving of trolleys did not pose a danger.

IKEA failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 45(a) of the regulation were complied with at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the OHSA. This is an offence pursuant to section 66(1) of the act.

Following a guilty plea, IKEA Canada was fined $55,000 by Justice of the Peace Ruby Wong in Old City Hall (60 Queen Street West), in Toronto; Crown Counsel Judy L. Chan.

The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

IKEA was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario “Industrial Establishments’ sector regulation 851/90, section 45, subsection (a) which states,

“Material, articles or things,

  • required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards, including protective clothing, guards or other precautions as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker.”

This is a direct contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

This was a sad case where a worker was put at risk when he/she didn’t need to be. If the worker had been properly trained and the process or procedure was properly explained to him/her then the hazard would have been recognized and the worker would have been far safer and out of the way of the runaway trolleys.

Do you notice that no one saw this as a hazard and reported it to management? IKEA is large enough to have a JHSC and they did not see this as a hazard. I wager they do now.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, Material Handling safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.



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