Contractor dies repairing reach truck

Ontario Ministry of Labour investigating death

September 18, 2012
by MM&D staff

BOLTON, Ontario—A 67 year old contractor lost his life while making repairs to a reach truck.

The man, whose name has not been released, was a resident of Palgrave, Ontario. He was working in Bolton, Ontario, at  Showerhouse, a supplier and retailer of bathroom hardware and accessories. (Showerhouse is a division of IRRIC Holdings Ltd.)

On Thursday, September 13, officers from the Caledon detachment of the OPP and responders from the Town of Caledon Fire and Emergency Services attended an emergency call at Showerhouse. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

In keeping with provincial legislation, the Ontario Ministry of Labour was called in to investigate. William Lin, a spokesman for the ministry describes what the Ministry investigators found when they arrived.

“The worker was completing work as an independent contractor. The worker was working alone, replacing a hydraulic cylinder on a reach truck and the preliminary findings indicate the reach truck was being lifted by another lifting device. It appears to have dropped, and the fork of the second lifting device became dislodged—possibly coming down on the worker.”

A local newspaper, The Caledon Enterprise, reports the second lifting device was a forklift and the equipment being repaired was a reach truck.

Lin explained that under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, investigators have up to a year to complete their investigation and, if needed, lay charges. He added the fact the victim was working as an independent contractor, shouldn’t matter. “The Occupational Health and Safety Act applies to all workplace parties,” he said.

Although every accident investigation follows its own course, Lin said there is one common procedure they all follow right from the start.

“Our experts go [to the site] and determine if there are any immediate hazards and if there are, they address them immediately to make sure the workplace is safe before operations resume. Also the inspector or inspectors will be in there determining whether or not there have been any violations of the workplace health and safety laws in Ontario, which is the Occupational Health and Safety Act. They’ll be looking at many issues at the site to determine if there are any violations.”