Worker death leads to nearly $300,000 fine for B.C. employer

Worker was hit by falling pallets

Worker death leads to nearly $300,000 fine for B.C. employer
Photo Courtesy: Great Little Box Company

British Columbia employer Great Little Box Company (GLBC) has been fined $300,000 after one of its workers died in the workplace.

The incident happened in December 2022, when a forklift operator was taking down a row of six loaded pallets of boxes that reached over six metres, according to a CBC report.

The worker then left to chat with a coworker. Before the worker could reach the vehicle on his way back, a bundle of two pallets fell on him.

Those pallets weighed 340 kilograms, according to the report.

Another forklift operator heard the fallen stacks, and coworkers found the worker involved in the incident.

The workers called 911, but the worker later died from his injuries, CBC reported.

In April, WorkSafeBC handed GLBC a $290,548.37 penalty for that incident and related "high-risk violations," including the employer’s "inadequate" risk assessment, supervision and training, which it says contributed to the fatality.

The bundle that fell on the worker was "inherently unstable,” WorkSafeBC noted, according to the report.

Also, Just a month before the worker fatality, a forklift hazard identification document which identified the risk of operators being struck by falling pallets was created, reported CBC.

However, the report said "verifying whether corrective actions were completed was not applicable to this risk," according to WorkSafeBC.