Ford fined for two forklift fatalities

May 27, 2010   by PLANT STAFF

OAKVILLE, Ont.: Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd. has been fined $850,000 for safety violations at two of its Ontario plants that resulted in two deaths.

Ford pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to take all reasonable precautions in the circumstances to protect the safety of the workers under Section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In an incident that occurred Jan. 31, 2008, Sarwan Baraich, 57 and father of three who was contemplating retirement after 30 years at the plant, was crushed between two forklifts.

A co-worker on another forklift reversed into Baraich who was standing beside the other forklift.  He died of his injuries on March 23, 2008.

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.

In the other incident, Shara Flanigan, 36, was driving a lift truck carrying an unsecured pallet of auto parts when the load shifted and crushed her.

Flanigan, with Ford since 1997, was driving the lift truck down a narrow aisle on Jan. 14, 2009 when the pallet struck a storage rack.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Ford’s material movement policies and procedures were not adequate.

In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge according to the Provincial Offences Act.
PLANT, files from Canadian Press

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