Pallet company fined after forklift accident

by MM&D staff

NEWMARKET, Ontario—A pallet company was convicted of two violations of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured on the job.

The pallet manufacturing and repair company Woodbridge Pallet Ltd was fined $50,000 (plus an additional 25 percent victim fine surcharge which is mandated by the government) in relation to a July forklift accident. An employee had been painting pallets in the paint department. He needed more paint, so he left the department and crossed the shop floor where he was hit by a counter-balance forklift carrying a load of pallets. He suffered leg and arm injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the forklift operator was unable to see where he was going when driving forward as the pallet load obscured his forward vision.

Woodbridge Pallet pleaded guilty to failing to move the materials in a way that would not endanger any workers. It was convicted under Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 25(1)(c) which reads:

An employer shall ensure that…

(a) the equipment, materials and protective devices as prescribed are provided;

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

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace;

(d) the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are used as prescribed; and

(e) a building, structure, or any part thereof, or any other part of a workplace, whether temporary or permanent, is capable of supporting any loads that may be applied to it

and O.Reg. 851/90 Section 45 which states:

Material, articles or things,

(a) 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;

(b) shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things,

(i) will not tip, collapse or fall, and

(ii) can be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of any worker; and

(c) to be removed from a storage area, pile or rack, shall be removed in a manner that will not endanger the safety of any worker.

In other forktruck accident news, the CBC is reporting that a Vitran Express employee in Saskatoon, Sakatchewan was injured after being pinned under a forklift that fell on him while he was attempting to change a tire. The truck had to be lifted off the worker by fire crews who used air-lifting bags. Additionally, the Ottawa Citizen reports that worker on a sod farm in Edwards, south of Ottawa, suffered a crushing chest injury when he was briefly pinned between a fence and a forklift last week.

In the US, the local coroner’s office and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the death of a Granite City, Illinois worker who was killed in a Kraft Foods warehouse when he pinned between an automated laser-guided vehicle and a pallet rack.