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Truck company, supervisor fined $115,000 for worker's death

By COS staff

A truck maintenance firm and one of its supervisor was asked to pay a combined total fine of $115,000 from charges filed after a worker was killed, according to a Ontario Ministry of Labour report.

Delta Truck Equipment was fined $100,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Phillip Hutton, a supervisor, was fined $15,000 in relation to the same incident.

On June 9, 2010, at the company's shop in Breslau, Ont., Hutton was doing maintenance on a hydraulic crane. He had mounted the crane onto a truck and determined that some of the hydraulic fluid in the crane needed to be drained. As he went to drain the fluid, a worker monitored the fluid level. During this procedure, the crane's boom swung around to pin the worker against the truck's control panel, fatally crushing the worker.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Hutton had left the hydraulics of the crane engaged and the truck's engine running during the procedure.

Delta Truck Equipment pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that the truck's engine was off and/or the hydraulics of the crane were disengaged before draining the hydraulic fluid. Hutton pleaded guilty to the same.

The fines were imposed by Justice Gary Hearn. In addition to the fines, the court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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