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Truck crushes Espanola worker's head - retailer fined

By SooToday.com Staff
SooToday.com
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NEWS RELEASE

ONTARIO MINISTRY OF LABOUR

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Quebec-based retailer fined $70,000 for health and safety violation involving young worker

ESPANOLA, ON - (October 23) - Quebec-based retailer Hart Stores Inc./Les Magasins Hart Inc., pleaded guilty on October 19, 2007, and was fined $70,000 in connection with a workplace incident that left a young worker with a critical head injury.

Justice of the Peace Pierre Leclerc heard that a young worker was helping prepare a loading dock for the unloading of a truck at a new Hart store at 800 Centre Street, Espanola on August 9, 2005.

The worker was standing between the loading dock and the truck when the truck backed up.

The worker's head was caught between the back of the truck and the lip of the dock, resulting in a fractured skull, court heard.

The Ministry of Labour's investigation found that the worker was not provided with adequate instruction, information and supervision at the workplace and that the employer was responsible for this failure to protect the health and safety of the worker.

The investigation also found that the incident was not reported to the Ministry of Labour by the employer.

Hart Stores Inc./Les Magasins Hart Inc., pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker, contrary to section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and was fined $60,000.

The company also pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to notify an inspector immediately of a critical injury, contrary to section 51(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and was fined $10,000.

In addition to the fines, the court imposed a 25 percent victim fine surcharge on the total, as required by the Provincial Offences Act.

The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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