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25. September 2008

Ford Canada fined $100,000

Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited pleaded guilty and was fined $100,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice in connection with a Windsor worker who was injured May 13, 2006.

Court heard that a worker suffered burns while operating a skid steer loader in the melting department of Ford's Windsor Casting Plant, a Ministry of Labour press release said.

The worker was moving foundry debris after it had fallen from a cupola into a hopper. The ministry investigation found steps were not taken to check the temperature of the material before it was moved.

While the worker was backing out of the area with a load in the bucket, a fire erupted and spread to the loader's cab, seriously burning the worker, the ministry's release said. The investigation also found workers were not told how to safely complete a bottom drop at the cupola.

Ford pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of implementing a mandatory cooling period or other procedure to assess the temperature of the material before it was removed to protect the health or safety of workers, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge goes to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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