Parry Sound, ON – TKPL & Associates Ltd., operator of a grocery store in Sundridge, ON, was fined $80,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed.

On February 4, 2011, a worker at the grocery store was arranging items on shelves while standing on a stepladder. To reach the top shelf, the worker had to stand on the top cap of the ladder, which was not intended as a step. While working from the top cap the worker lost balance and fell to the floor, suffering a fatal head injury.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that it was common practice in the store for workers to stand on the top cap of this type of stepladder to reach shelves. However the stepladder was not appropriate equipment for the task given the workers’ need to stand on the top cap.

TKPL & Associates Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of providing appropriate equipment to reach shelves for the protection of a worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Marcel Bedard. 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.