Brampton, ON – Metro Ontario Inc., a retail grocer, was fined $350,000 yesterday for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused a young worker’s death.
On August 7, 2009, at the company’s store on Erin Mills Parkway in Mississauga, a young worker was helping the assistant store manager clear materials from the top of a cooler beside the meat department. The meat department was covered by a drop ceiling made up of acoustic tiles. The drop ceiling was accessible from the top of the cooler but it was not meant to be weight-bearing.
While removing materials from the top of the cooler, the assistant store manager indicated that a box needed to be removed from on top of the drop ceiling. The young worker stepped onto the drop ceiling to remove the box and fell through. The young worker suffered a fatal head injury.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that there was no guardrail separating the drop ceiling from the area above the cooler.
Metro Ontario Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a guardrail was in place to prevent workers from accessing the drop ceiling.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Milagros Eustaquio-Syme. 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.