OHS Canada Magazine

Home Hardware store in Ontario fined $70,000 after worker struck by forklift

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January 2, 2024
By OHS Canada

Compliance & Enforcement Fines Home Hardware ontario

Geerlinks Home Hardware Building Centre lumber yard, at 295 Wellington St., in St. Thomas, Ont. Photo: Google

A Home Hardware store in St. Thomas, Ont., has been fined $70,000 after a worker was injured after being struck by a forklift.

On Oct. 1, 2022, two workers were asked by their supervisor to take some returned lumber to the Geerlinks Home Hardware Building Centre lumber yard.

In the past, they had done this by hand. However, on this occasion, one worker used a forklift to carry the lumber while being assisted by the other worker, who was walking alongside the forklift and within close proximity.

The worker operating the forklift attempted to place 2 x 6 x 16-foot boards into a pile when the second worker walked toward the back of the forklift. The forklift operator moved the forklift forward, striking the other worker, who sustained critical injuries.

At the time of the incident, the worker operating the forklift was not certified to operate the forklift, nor did they have Lift Truck Pedestrian Safety training. The other worker did not have Forklift Operator training or Lift Truck Pedestrian Safety training.


Geerlinks Building Centre and Furniture Limited failed, as an employer, to ensure that the workers were provided information, instruction and supervision regarding the operation of forklifts at a workplace, contrary to section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court, Geerlinks Building Centre and Furniture Limited was fined $70,000­. 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.


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