An Ontario General Motors dealership, which sells Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC vehicles, has been fined $45,000 two years after two of its workers were crushed by a vehicle that fell off a faulty hoist, leading to critical injuries.
Following an investigation, the Ontario Ministry of Labour concluded that one of the four restraint arms on the hoist had swung out of place, causing the entire vehicle, which had been lifted approximately six feet up in the air, to slip and fall on the workers. Closer examination of the arm restraints revealed that the gears used to lock them into place were rusted, worn out and in poor condition.
Upon further inspection, the Ministry found more issues with the hoist. For instance, one of the swing arms moved easily out of the set position when pushed by hand, and the swing arms’ pads were found to be worn and in poor condition. Several other hoists in the dealer’s shop were found to be in a similar condition.
Prior to the incident, the Ontario GM dealer had hired a company to inspect its hoist. Primarily visual, the inspections indicated that the hoists presented no defects and that they were fit for use. However, neither the company nor its owner, who performed the inspection was certified by the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) as official lift inspectors.
On June 18th,2019, the Ontario Ministry of Labour ruled that the Ontario GM dealer “failed as employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker.”
The GM dealer pleaded guilty to the charges. The ministry also fined the establishment a 25-percent victim fine surcharge as required by the Ontario Provincial Offences Act to assist victims of crime.