Filtervac International Inc. fined $90,000 for health and safety violation

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Filtervac International Inc. fined $90,000 for health and safety violation

KITCHENER, ON, Jan. 2 - Filtervac International Inc., a supplier of oil purification systems based in Breslau, Ont., was fined $90,000 today for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in the death of an employee. On March 28, 2005, a worker was using a large forklift truck to move a fabric bag containing clay that had been removed from filter cylinders when the forklift tipped over onto the driver's side. The worker jumped off the forklift and tried to outrun it as it tipped, but was unable to get clear of the equipment and was struck on the head by the forklift's "roll cage" (a structure that protects a forklift operator from being crushed if the forklift rolls over) and pinned under the cage. Co-workers attempted to lift the forklift off the worker using another forklift while waiting for emergency officials to arrive, but the worker died. The incident occurred at the company's plant at 250 Woolwich Street South in Breslau, about one kilometre (0.6 miles) east of Kitchener. A Ministry of Labour investigation found the worker was not trained in the use of a forklift and, as such, was not authorized to drive it. However, a company rule that only trained workers were allowed to operate the forklifts was not strictly enforced and, on occasion, the deceased worker drove a forklift. Access to keys for the forklifts was not controlled. On the afternoon of the incident the worker drove the forklift into a snow pile while attempting to set down the bag. The forklift's front wheel contacted a curb, causing the forklift to tilt towards the driver's side. The bag swung on the forks and the forklift tipped. Filtervac International Inc. pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to ensure the forklift could only be operated by a worker who was authorized to use it. This was contrary to Section 25(2)(h) of the act. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Gay of the Ontario Court of Justice in Kitchener. In addition, the court 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Information at a Glance ----------------------------- Location: Ontario Court of Justice 77 Queen Street North, Courtroom 102 Kitchener, Ontario Judge: Justice of the Peace Robert Gay Date / Time: January 2, 2007, 2 p.m. Defendants: Filtervac International Inc. Matter: Occupational Health & Safety ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Disponible en français For more information visit www.labour.gov.on.ca Contact Info For further information: Contacts: Belinda Sutton, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405; Alex Bednar, Crown Counsel, Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Labour, (416) 212-1069 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Contacts: Belinda Sutton, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405; Alex Bednar, Crown Counsel, Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Labour, (416) 212-1069