Blog Post #127 – Tuong Phat Supermarket Fined $90,000 After Worker Killed

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Tuong Phat Supermarket, of Toronto, was fined $90,000 on August 6, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was killed.

On December 27, 2007, a worker at the Finch Ave. W. store was using a lifting device to move a shopping cart from the main floor to the basement storage area. The device’s forks tipped backwards, causing the machine to fall, fatally crushing the worker.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that there were no written instructions for the safe operation of the lifting device. Verbal instruction did not cover all elements of a comprehensive safety training program.

Tuong Phat Supermarket pleaded guilty, under the OHSA, to failing to ensure the worker was given information and instruction regarding the safe use of a lift truck.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Peter M. Gettlich. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, 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:

Tuong Phat Supermarket was convicted under the ACT, section 25, subsection 2(a) which states,

“The employer shall provide information, instruction, and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

Here we have another company not understanding the competency standards as set forth in the OHSA.

In section 1(1), (definitions) which precedes the ACT it states,

1) You must be qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work;
2) You are familiar with the ACT and its regulations that apply; and
3) Have knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health and safety in the workplace

Pretty straight forward if you ask me. No one is to attempt to drive a forklift unless they complete a comprehensive full day course covering topics defined in CSA standard B335-15.

This standard includes such topics for forklift knowledge training such as:

a) Stability patterns;
b) Pre-use inspection and operational checks;
c) Associated hazards;
d) Maintenance schedules;
e) Dock loading and its hazards;
f) Operational check;
g) Classes of forklift; (many have different types of hazards)
h) Legislation;
i) Capacity plates and their meanings;
j) Pedestrians;
k) Travelling with or without a load;
l) Load Handling;
m) Ramps and grades;
n) Personnel lifting;
o) Elevators;
p) Refueling/recharging; and
q) Many others

Please pick up a copy of B335-15 from the CSA website. I believe a PDF file can be purchased for very little and it would have gone a long way to have prevented putting a dent in the reputation of the Tuong Phat supermarket as well as its pocketbook.

$300.00 to $450.00 instead of the $90,000 fine as well as possible jail time. Hmmm… which one would you chose?

I would wager they receive adequate training now! They had better review CSA standard B335-15 as their people will need re-certification training by next year which is spelled out in section 6.21.1 “Retraining”

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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