Blog Post #955 – IKEA Canada Limited Sentenced Over Trolley Incident

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Home furnishings retail store IKEA Canada Ltd. in Toronto was fined $55,000 on August 23, 2018 over a worker injury last year.

An employee working as a cart retriever was directing a roll of 43 nested flatbed shopping trolleys into a cart corral from the front wall a co-worker pushed from the rear on February 25, 2017. As a worker was walking directly in front of the road trolleys as it went down a narrow hallway, the trolleys accelerated and struck the worker, pinning him against the wall and resulted in a critical injury.

According to a court bulletin from Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, the worker had not been provided with sufficient precautions, safeguards or protective clothing to ensure that the movement of trolleys did not pose a danger to workers. IKEA was fined after pleading guilty to a contravention of section 25, subsection 1(c) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) and section 45 subsection (a) of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ sector regulation 851/90.

My opinion

The laws in contravention:

IKEA Canada Limited was found guilty of a contravention of section 5 (a) of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ sector regulation 851/90 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.”

IKEA Canada Limited was also found guilty of a contravention of the 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.”

The reader can see that all employer must ensure that a JHA (Job hazard analysis) for every operation on the jobsite, even one as simple as moving shopping carts. The employer should have realized that this is unacceptable and ensure that the employees had a safety chat with the supervisor prior to the operation and the supervisor MUST understand the issues and watch the workers during the day.

The supervisor MUST be “Competent” as described in the OHSA. The legal definition of a “Competency Person” is;

“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.”

The fine may seem excessive BUT the employee received a “Critical Injury”.

A “Critical Injury” is defined in Ontario regulation 834 which states,

“critically injured” means an injury of a serious nature that,

(a) places life in jeopardy,

(b) produces unconsciousness,

(c) results in substantial loss of blood,

(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,

(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,

(f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or

(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.”

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.





Leave a Comment