Blog Post #392 – Peton Distributors ULC Fined $70,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Peton Distributors ULC, a distribution warehouse for Pet Valu stores, was fined $70,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On March 29, 2010, at the Peton warehouse on Martin Grove Rd. in Toronto, a worker was loading a skid with items for an order. The worker was standing in front of the skid when a pallet truck carrying another skid collided with the worker. The worker’s ankle was crushed between the two skids.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the load on the pallet truck was too high for its driver to properly see past. This obscured the driver’s view of where the truck was going, and of the injured worker who was in that path.

Peton Distributors ULC pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of requiring workers to stack items on a pallet truck in a way that allows for a clear view of the truck’s path of travel.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Jerry Rosenfield. In addition to the fine, the court 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:

Peton Distributors ULC was found guilty of violating section 25, subsection 2(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

Again, we see section 25, subsection 2(h) of the OHSA as one of the charges. The employer did not see the benefit of training, and, if they DID complete training for their employees, then it was not adequate or the supervisor was unaware of the problems because he/she was not trained either in the law of the fundamentals of forklift safety.

Please ensure your workers receive the best training out there. HRS Group Inc. provides competency training for all their clients which will include the following;

1) The worker must have the knowledge, training and experience to organize the work. (training being the key word)
2) The worker must be familiar with the OHSA and the appropriate regulation, whether sector or not. In this case, the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851 would have been a good place to start.
3) The worker must understand and recognize all hazards associated with the training.

Our trainers have the experience to do the work. Allow our staff to visit your workplace to show the level of excellence you can receive. You will not be disappointed.

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 ‘Forklift Certification’ and ‘Forklift Re-Certification’. 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 – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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