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Brantford company fined $50,000 after workplace injury

Local NewsBrantford company fined $50,000 after workplace injury

Bert’s Truck and Trailer Repair Inc., an automotive repair shop located in Brantford, has been fined $50,000 following a 2021 workplace injury.

While conducting a brake repair on a 60-70-foot-long motorhome on December 15, 2021, a worker was seriously injured when the vehicle rolled backwards and onto the employee.

“Bert’s Truck and Trailer Repair Inc. failed, as an employer, to protect a worker by ensuring the safety measures and procedures required for preventing an elevated vehicle from falling on a worker were carried out, as outlined in section 74 of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments,” the description of the offence read.

Following guilty plea in the Ontario Court of Justice in Brantford, Bert’s Truck and Trailer Repair Inc. was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Dan D’Ignazio; Crown Counsel Judy L. Chan. The company was convicted on December 14, 2023.

The court also 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.

At the time of the incident, Bert’s Truck and Trailer Repair Inc. was conducting a brake repair on the motorhome, which was parked behind the shop on a concrete pad sloping slightly downwards.

The worker drove the vehicle up onto four-by-four wooden blocks to elevate the motorhome and rubber chocks were placed in front of the front wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving forward. However, nothing was put in place to stop it from moving backwards.

The worker then went under the vehicle and proceeded to grease the underside area of the motorhome, while a co-worker stood nearby to pass tools and equipment below.

After this, the worker used an oxygen/acetylene torch to heat up a clevis pin and released the seized brakes.

As soon as the pin became unseized, the brakes released and the motorhome rolled backwards, up the slight slope and over the wooden blocks and onto the worker below.

According to regulations for industrial establishments, there are requirements in place for all machinery, equipment or material that are temporarily elevated, to be “securely and solidly blocked” in order to prevent it from falling on workers underneath.

By failing to take these safety measures, Bert’s Truck and Trailer Repair Inc. violated section 66(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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