Auto parts company fined $175,000 for employee’s death at work

A southwestern Ontario auto company has been fined $175,000 after a worker was killed at the company’s Tillsonburg plant.

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A southwestern Ontario auto company has been fined $175,000 after a worker was killed at the company’s Tillsonburg plant.

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Marwood International Inc., an auto parts supplier, was fined after a worker was fatally injured while moving steel coils into the storage warehouse at the company’s Tillsonburg plant on July 15, 2021. The steel coils are produced of steel – a sheet or strip – that have been rolled.

A forklift operator was positioning one of the coils when the machine’s forks touched another coil, resulting in a domino effect of three coils falling, according to provincial Ministry of Labor officials. A worker standing between two coils was struck and killed, officials said.

Emergency crews responded to reports of a serious workplace accident at 35 Townline Rd. just before 6:30 a.m. that day, Oxford County Provincial Police said at the time.

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The deceased has been identified as 44-year-old James Klein.

The large steel coils at the company’s factory were lying loose on the floor with no side supports to prevent them from tipping over or overturning, the ministry said.

The employer, Marwood International, “failed to take specific measures and procedures to protect the safety of a worker”, in breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the statement said.

After pleading guilty, the company was fined by Justice of the Peace Tammy Waugh at Woodstock Court on November 17. The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge, which is imposed by the Provincial Offenses Act.

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Marwood International Inc. is a Tier 1 supplier of automotive OEM structural components and modular assembly, according to its website. The company operates at least six manufacturing facilities in the region, four in Tillsonburg, one in Woodstock and one in Ingersoll.

At the time of his death, Klein was mourned as a beloved brother and uncle. “

He was a loyal and generous person with a passion for living fully and without fear,” according to his obituary.

The obituary added: “Jamie will be fondly remembered as someone who was always up for an adventure, whether on the trail, the trails or around the campfire sharing beers and stories late into the night.”

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