Canadian Rental Company Guilty in Worker’s Death

Matthews Equipment Ltd., operating as Hertz Equipment Rentals, pleaded guilty and was fined $95,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice in connection with the death of a worker who died while operating a crawler bulldozer in 2005. The court also imposed a 25 percent provincial victim surcharge.

Matthews Equipment has been in business in the area for more than 25 years. The company has also been a Bobcat dealer.

According to court accounts, a Matthews Equipment driver offered to assist two drivers from another company who had driven their flatbed trucks onto the Matthews property in Etobicoke, a Toronto suburb. The Matthews worker was seen climbing into the drivers’ seat of one of his company’s crawler dozers. A short time later, the machine was seen moving at a high speed, hitting equipment on the property, with nobody in the driver’s seat. The worker’s body was found on the ground, marked with what appeared to be vehicle tracks. The investigation concluded the worker had fallen to the ground in the path of the machine, according to Canadian Internet accounts.

Matthews pleaded guilty to failing to provide information, instruction and supervision on how to safely operate a crawler-dozer, contrary to regulations of Canada’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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