Fatal forklift accident leads to $135,000 fine for thermal-processing firm

NEWMARKET, Ont. – An employer in Newmarket was recently fined $135,000 for a workplace incident two years ago that led to a temporary worker’s severe injuries and eventual death. The incident occurred on Oct. 22, 2015, when the temp was working as a beltline operator’s assistant for Bodycote Thermal Processing Canada Inc., according to a court bulletin from the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL). The worker was entering a pathway between conveyor beltlines and was hit by a forklift that the beltline operator was driving, causing severe injuries; the temp worker passed away several months later. The MOL investigation determined that stacks of empty bins had blocked the workers’ views and that the workplace had nothing to separate forklift and pedestrian traffic or designated safe crossing points. At the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket, Bodycote pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that workers were not endangered by forklifts, that stored items did not limit sightlines of forklift drivers or pedestrians and that forklift and pedestrian traffic was sufficiently separated. Justice of the Peace Karen Walker imposed the fine, plus a victim fine surcharge, on Oct. 13 of this year.

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