Ford faces $1 million in fines


Ford Canada has been ordered to pay over a $1 million in relation to two employee deaths in separate incidents from 2008 and 2009.

The $850,000 fine, imposed Tuesday by Justice Jerry Woloschuk, comes after investigations by the Ministry of Labour into the two accidents found that both were preventable.

Sarwan Baraich was crushed at Ford’s Oakville assembly plant in early 2008 when a co-worker pinned Baraich against another forklift. According to the Toronto Star, a Ministry of Labour investigation of the accident revealed the vehicle operator did not keep a clear view of the forklift’s path of travel.

The second death came at the automaker’s Bramalea, Ont., parts distribution centre in 2009. Shara Flanigan was driving a lift truck when an unsecured pallet he was hauling hit one of the storage racks and fell, crushing him.

Ministry of Labour investigations into both Ford’s “material movement policies and procedures” were not adequate.

Ford communication director Kerri Stoakley told the Star that Ford has reinforced the requirements involving looking in relation to the direction of travel for all North American operations.

She also said Ford no longer uses the “multi pallet platform” involved in the second accident.

“The safety of our employees is always of top importance,” Stoakley noted.

Yesterday’s decision came with a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge added by the court. The additional $212,500 fine is mandated by the Provincial Offences Act.

- With files from the Canadian Press and The Toronto Star