Blog Post #1370 – Company Sentenced over Worker Death

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (June 2016)

An automotive manufacturing company was sentenced to pay a fine of $175,000 on May 25, 2016 over a workplace accident that led to the death of an employee.

To and from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, the incident occurred while three workers with Canadian Electrocoating Limited for loading car parts onto a rack to be painted on September 19, 2014. The forklift operator was moving a role of stacked bins at the time, but accidentally caused another role of bins to wobble and fall into the workstation where the other three employees were working. The bins, which each weighed more than 600 kg, struck and pinned one of the workers, resulting in death.

Subsequent assessment by the Ministry found that Canadian electroplating had neglected its own safety rule stating that employees must stay clear of any falls all where a forklift could potentially drop below in the specific case, the worker should have been well more than 9 m away from the forklift.

My opinion

Here we have another forklift accident that caused the death of an employee. Questions needed to be asked such as:

  • Did the operator receive “Competency Training”?,
  • Did the operator about the “Fall Zone” plant safety rule?,
  • Was the operator properly supervised?,
  • Was the Supervisor “Competent” to supervise forklift operators”?, and
  • Why was there a chance that parts could fall on production workers?

Too many questions and not enough answers.

As the reader is aware, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) has the government’s definition on “Competency” which states,

“Competent Person” means a person who,

(a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,

(b) is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and

(c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ 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 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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


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