Home Depot of Canada Inc. Fined $90,000 After Worker Injured
BARRIE, ON - Home Depot of Canada Inc., a home improvement retailer, has been fined $90,000 after a worker was injured by falling merchandise in the company's store in Bradford.
On April 27, 2013, a worker was preparing to receive a load of merchandise from a trailer backed into the receiving area of the store located at 470 Holland Street West. The receiving area had three bays, with doors that open by rolling along tracks upward and then away from the door frame. Racks had been built in front of the doors and above them; pallets of patio doors standing upright and wrapped in plastic had been placed in the overhead racks of two of the bays.
One worker opened a bay door while another was moving items on the floor to clear a path for merchandise from the trailer. As the top of the door rolled away from the door frame, it came into contact with a pallet of patio doors. The pallet tipped and fell about 11 feet, striking the worker who was moving the merchandise. The worker suffered injuries to the head, resulting in paralysis and fractures. A Ministry of Labour investigation followed.
The original engineered design of the racking system had provided for a steel beam. Had it been installed as planned, it would have prevented the placement of the pallets of patio doors on the overhead racks. The beam was not installed. In addition, a bottom beam of the overhead rack had been installed 12 inches higher than the maximum allowed on the engineered plan. This contravened a provincial safety regulation that requires objects in a workplace to be placed or stored in such a way as not to tip or fall.
Home Depot of Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by law were carried out in the workplace - in this case, that a pallet loaded with patio doors was placed and/or stored in a position that allowed it to tip when the load made contact with the bay door. The company was fined $90,000 by Justice of the Peace Brian O. Norton.
In addition to the fine, 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
Provincial Offences Court
45 Cedar Pointe Drive
Justice of the Peace Brian O. Norton
Date of Sentencing:
July 22, 2014
Home Depot of Canada Inc.
1 Concorde Gate, Suite 900
Ocupational health and safety
Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 25 (1)(c)
Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments), Section 45(b)(i)