Lumber Mill fined $80,000 in death of delivery driver

Tuesday May 10, 2016
Written by Ontario Ministry of Labour
May 10, 2016 - Monterra Lumber Mills Ltd., a remanufacturer of softwood lumber, pleaded guilty and has been fined $80,000 in the death of a delivery driver who was killed while lumber was being unloaded from the truck he had been driving.

On November 12, 2013, a driver working for a shipping company was delivering a tractor trailer of bundles of lumber to Monterra’s facility in Bolton, Ont. Upon arrival, the driver was instructed to drive to the back of the yard; a lumber company worker would then unload the lumber, said the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL). The driver drove to the back of the yard, then stood on the passenger side of the trailer, rolling up the straps that were securing the bundles of lumber, it noted, adding that each bundle consisted of 189 pieces of board measuring 16 feet long and weighing about 6,000 pounds.

According to the ministry, the lumber company worker drove a forklift to the tractor trailer and started to unload the bundles from the driver’s side of the trailer. While removing the first bundle, an adjacent bundle on the passenger’s side fell off the trailer and landed on the driver, causing fatal injuries, said the MOL. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency workers called to the scene.

The ministry found that at the time of the incident, there were no measures in place such as barriers, warning signs or other safeguards for the protection of all workers in the yard where vehicle or pedestrian traffic may endanger the safety of any worker. The lumber company failed as an employer to ensure compliance with Section 20 of Ontario’s Industrial Establishments Regulation, which states that “barrier, warning signs or other safeguard for the protection of all workers in an area shall be used where vehicle or pedestrian traffic may endanger the safety of any worker,” said the MOL.

In addition to the fine, the court 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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