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Ford Canada faces over $1M in fines after workplace deaths

By COS staff

Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited was fined more than $1 million last Tuesday for violations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after two workers were killed in separate incidents, a statement from the Ministry of Labour said.

On January 31, 2008, a worker was fatally injured at Ford's Oakville 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, the statement said.

A year later on January 14, 2009, another worker was killed while driving a lift truck carrying an unsecured pallet at Ford's Bramalea parts distribution centre. While the worker was driving the lift truck down a narrow aisle, the pallet struck a storage rack. The worker was crushed between the pallet and the vehicle. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Ford's material movement policies and procedures were not adequate.

Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to take all reasonable precautions in the circumstances to protect the safety of the workers.

A fine of $850,000 was imposed by Justice of the Peace Jerry Woloschuk. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge of $212,500, as required by the Provincial Offences Act, bringing the total fine to $1,062,500. The victim fine surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime. 

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