Blog Post #1453 – Workplace Fatality Results in $175,000 Fine for Tillsonburg Employer

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

On July 15, 2021, three workers were moving coils of steel from the receiving area into a storage bay at the company’s Tillsonburg plant. The coils varied in outside diameter from 63 to 72 inches, were between 12 to 14 inches wide and ranged in weight from 9,600 to 13,200 pounds.

The coils were free standing on the concrete floor with no measures or side supports to prevent them from rolling or tipping over. As the forklift operator was positioning a coil, the forks of the forklift contacted another coil, resulting in a domino effect that caused three coils to tip over.

One of the workers, who was standing between two coils, was struck, and killed.

Following a guilty plea in the Ontario Court of Justice, Woodstock Provincial Offences Act Court, Marwood International Inc. was fined $175,000 by Justice of the Peace Tammy Waugh; Crown Counsel, Line Forestier.

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:

Marwood International Inc. 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,

(a) 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 contrary to section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

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

This was an accident easily avoided if the employer had completed an exhaustive hazard assessment.

Anyone would have seen the potential here! I guess maybe not. Too bad for the worker.

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