Blog Post #1508 – Concord Transport Company Fined $140,000 After Workplace Fatality

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Vitran Express Canada Inc., operating as National Fast Freight, of Concord, Ontario, a transport and logistics services company, was fatally injured when they were caught between a reversing truck and a trailer. Vitran Express Canada Inc. failed to ensure that a truck tractor provided had a functional back up alarm or back up lights, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

On November 4, 2021, a security guard was working the night shift at a warehousing and distribution facility that included a storage yard for trucks to deliver and remove trailers for shipping products. Among the security guard’s duties were monitoring truck access to the facility and applying and removing “glad hand locks” to prevent or facilitate the movement of trailers parked in the facility yard.

A shunt truck tractor and driver supplied by Vitran Express Canada Inc. were also present to move trailers within the facility yard.

At around 6:20 a.m., the shunt driver advised security that a trailer needed to be moved in the yard. The driver moved the shunt truck into position to back up to a trailer.

The security guard attended and walked to the trailer to remove the glad hand lock. The area immediately around the front end of the trailer was dark when the guard, who was not wearing high visibility reflective clothing, arrived at the trailer connection. The shunt truck driver did not see the security guard enter the area near the trailer.

The shunt truck reversed. The security guard was caught between the truck and the trailer and suffered fatal injuries.

A Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development investigation determined that neither the shunt truck’s audible back-up alarm nor its reversing spotlights were functioning.

By failing to ensure that the back up alarm and back up lights on the truck tractor were functional, Vitran Express Canada Inc. failed, as an employer, to ensure that a truck tractor provided was maintained in good condition, contrary to section 25(1)(b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Brampton, Ontario, Vitran Express Canada Inc. was fined $140,000 by Justice of the Peace Mangesh Duggal. Crown Counsel was ­­­­­­­Wes Wilson.

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:

Vitran Express Canada Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 1(b) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(b) the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition.”

Very simple!

An employer has the responsibility of ensuring the equipment they provide is maintained in good condition.

It sounds, to me, that the drivers were not required to do a checklist prior to use. Another contravention.

The employer was very lucky to the size of the fine as well. Sure $140,000 + victim fine surcharge sounds large but the maximum fine, for each contravention, is $1,500,000.

I would bet the reader that they have checklists now and the supervisor is responsible for it to be filled out. Too late for the employee.

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