Company fined $13k for forklift that crashed into tree and parked car

The forklift stalled and rolled down a hill, crashing into a car in Burnaby a month after a similar incident in West Vancouver

A Fraser Valley business was fined nearly $13,000 after a forklift stalled at a Burnaby worksite and rolled down a hill, stopping only after it hit a parked vehicle.

To make matters worse, the same forklift already had a stop-use order placed on it after the same thing happened just a month earlier.

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On June 20, 2019, a forklift became unresponsive while in use at a property on Curtis Street, according to a WorkSafeBC report obtained through a freedom of information request. The employee reportedly had to jump off of the forklift as it began rolling down the hill, struck a parked vehicle and tipped over.

The WorkSafeBC report noted the potential for serious injury to workers in the incident.

A separate WorkSafeBC report on that incident, at a property on Clovelly Walk, West Vancouver, the forklift stalled, rolled backwards down a slope, bounced off a tree, struck a worker and then hit a building.

The extent of any injuries to the worker is unclear, with much of the incident summary redacted by WorkSafeBC.

According to documents related to the Burnaby incident, some work had been done on the forklift, but “nothing was done to address the mechanical issues causing the … forklift to free wheel on a slope.”

The employer, Anderson Sod Farm, had determined to run an “awareness review” with delivery drivers not to use the forklift if the slope of the ground is “questionable.” However, the WorkSafeBC inspector noted that no specific procedures were provided to determine whether the slope is questionable.

A later WorkSafeBC report confirms that as of Aug. 1 the forklift was taken out of operation, closing the file. However, in that report, the inspector notes that, should the forklift be put back into commission, it must pass an inspection from WorkSafeBC.

Anderson Sod Farm, located east of Mission, was fined a total of $12,860.

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