Blog Post #5 – Lift Truck Safety – Deaths of two workers lead to $850G fine

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Ford Motor Company of Canada has been fined $850,000 for violations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after two workers were killed in separate incidents.

On Jan. 31, 2008, a worker was fatally injured at Ford’s Oakville, Ont., assembly plant after being crushed between two forklifts. The worker was standing beside a forklift when a co-worker reversed another forklift into the worker. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the forklift operator did not keep a clear view of the vehicle’s path of travel while reversing.

On Jan. 14, 2009, a worker driving a lift truck carrying an unsecured pallet was killed at Ford’s Bramalea, Ont., parts distribution centre. While the worker was driving the lift truck down a narrow aisle, the pallet struck a storage rack, crushing the worker between the pallet and the vehicle. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Ford’s material movement policies and procedures were not adequate. Ford pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to take all reasonable precautions in the circumstances to protect the safety of the workers.

The fine was imposed Tuesday by Justice of the Peace Jerry Woloschuk. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Ford Motor Company of Canada was found guilty of violating section 25, subsection 2(h) which states,

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

Even a large company like Ford Motor Company needs to review the OHSA and any particular regulations when attempting to ensure a safe workplace.

Remember In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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