Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. has been fined $1,000,000.00 by an Ontario court for two counts of violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The first violation occurred when an employee of the Oakville assembly plant was killed at the workplace after a co-worker operating a forklift accidentally reversed into him killing him instantly. The Ministry of Labour’s investigation found that the operator of the forklift did not keep a clear view of the vehicle’s path of travel, resulting in the loss of life.
The second violation occurred one year later when an employee was driving a lift truck down an aisle at the Bramalea parts distribution centre with an unsecured pallet and hit a storage rack. The employee was crushed to death. The Ministry of Labour’s investigation found that Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd.’s existing material movement policies and procedures were inadequate and failed to meet the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
This ruling against Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. demonstrates that the Courts are willing to impose heavy fines upon those companies which do not adhere to the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. With the amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act by Bill 168: Violence and Harassment in the Workplace being enforced by the Ministry of Labour starting on June 15, 2010, employers should make every effort to ensure compliance with the Act prior to the June 15, 2010 deadline to avoid such hefty potential fines.
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