Quin Cormier, a detailer at Skaha Ford, died in a workplace accident at the dealership in April 2017. A WorkSafeBC report obtained by the Western News alleges violations of two work safety regulations at the time of Cormier’s death. Photo courtesy GoFundMe

UPDATED: Report finds cause for penalty for B.C. car dealer after fatal accident

Exclusive: WorkSafeBC report alleges 2 regulation violations at Skaha Ford at time of April 2017 fatal accident

This story has been updated to reflect new information from WorkSafeBC.

The B.C. work safety regulator has found grounds for imposing a penalty or citation on a Penticton car dealership determined to have violated of two work safety regulations at the time when a man was fatally pinned between two vehicles last spring.

The latest WorkSafeBC inspection report, provided to the Western News by WorkSafe media relations, on Skaha Ford, filed on May 14, found two orders still outstanding at the site, with action required.

“Based upon the violation(s) cited in this inspection report (and any previous relevant violations) WorkSafeBC has determined that there are grounds for imposing an administrative penalty and/or OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) Citation,” the May 14 report reads.

That report was filed about half a month prior to the conclusion of an investigation into the death of Quin Cormier at Skaha Ford in a workplace incident.

WorkSafeBC completed its report, obtained by the Western News through a freedom of information request, on May 29, over a year after Quin Cormier was killed in a workplace incident at Skaha Ford.

On April 28, 2017, a technician at Skaha Ford had been working on a Ford Escape, replacing the front brake pads among other items. However, the owner of another vehicle had been waiting for over an hour, so the technician wanted to return to that vehicle.

Related: Friends remember man who died in Penticton workplace accident

The technician asked a service worker, a new and young worker who had been largely shadowing other workers and performing minor duties, to move the Escape. However, the service worker had not been instructed “to pump the brake pedal to reposition the brake pads against the rotors,” the report said.

When the young worker began to move the vehicle, the brake pedal went to the floor, and the vehicle struck Cormier, who was facing away from the Escape, pinning him against another vehicle. Employees performed CPR on Cormier until the arrival of paramedics, who were unable to save him.

According to the report, the worksite had inadequate supervision for the new worker and an inadequate safety management system.


The WorkSafeBC report on the incident at Skaha Ford, completed May 29, 2018.

“During the investigation, WorkSafeBC issued (an inspection report) to Skaha Ford Inc. This inspection report describes two violations of the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation,” reads the May 29 report, penned by lead investigator Andy MacLean.

That includes failure to provide adequate information, instruction, training and supervision, per the act, and failure to provide safe work procedures for pedestrian and equipment traffic, per the regulation.

“The technician asked the new and young worker to perform a task that was beyond his capabilities. The new and young worker (redacted) was not provided adequate orientation, training, and supervision,” the report reads.

“The supervisor was not aware of the activities of the technician or the inexperienced worker at the time of the incident.

“The employer had created a description of a health and safety committee, but it was never implemented. There were no documented workplace inspections to identify hazards and address them.”

A manager at Skaha Ford said despite the violations asserted in the report the dealership was cleared of work safety violations. However, a WorkSafeBC spokesperson sent the Western News the regulatory body’s latest inspection report at the car dealership, dated May 14, which found outstanding issues at the dealership related to the April 2017 incident.

That report called for Skaha Ford to provide “adequate safe work procedures to minimize the possibility of collision … in hazardous work areas” to be compliant with the OHS violation.

It also called for the dealership to “provide to the employer’s workers the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety of those workers in carrying out their work and to ensure the health and safety of other workers at the work place.”

If WorkSafe is satisfied, that measure would then ensure Skaha Ford’s compliance with the Workers Compensation Act.


The WorkSafeBC report on the incident at Skaha Ford, completed May 29, 2018.

Skaha Ford general manager David Nigh declined to comment on the incident but said there have been measures taken to reduce hazards at the location. That includes honking whenever a vehicle is backing up — something he said has not been the norm in any mechanic shop, but Nigh said is now the rule at the Skaha Ford shop.

Since the incident, as well, the health and safety committee was implemented and meets monthly, said Nigh.

“It’s active and we meet monthly to make sure if there are weak points we pick out throughout the day that things are addressed,” Nigh said.

Nigh declined to comment further on what actions have been taken, saying he would need his service manager to comment on that. The service manager declined to comment on the record.

A WorkSafeBC spokesperson could not comment on whether penalties would be sought in this case, but pointed to a media backgrounder document on the regulatory body’s website. That document, which deals with administrative penalties, notes a maximum fine of just under $650,000.

The regulator takes into account factors like the employer’s history with violations — no previous offences turn up on a search of the WorkSafeBC website for Skaha Ford — the nature of the violation and the size of the employer’s payroll.

If WorkSafe is seeking a penalty, it is not yet clear what that penalty would be.

On the anniversary of the incident, Nigh said the dealership held a moment of silence for Cormier and some of the employees in the shop got up to speak.

“There’s obviously been a long grieving over this, and we have a close-knit bunch back there, and they’re doing well,” Nigh said. “There’s been awareness, things we’ve done to hopefully prevent this again.”

At the time of the incident, a GoFundMe campaign was set up for Cormier’s family, raising $9,040 — nearly doubling the $5,000 goal set for the campaign.

Report a typo or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

B.C. Sports Hall of Fame to give Giants owner Ron Toigo W.A.C. Bennett Award

Head of Langley-based team has been involved with junior hockey since the 1990s

VIDEO: Young Langley boy uses his grief to help other kids suffering loss

Thursday Langley Hospice hosts its Paint the Town Blue campaign to spotlight child bereavement.

No charges against cop accused of stuffing money into sock during search

BC Prosecution Service says not enough evidence against Abbotsford officer

‘Scrap-metal sweetie’ makes Langley centrefold

Most pictures in Langley’s 2019 firefighters’ calendar feature members with their own pets.

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Regulatory confusion over ‘toxic’ stink near Abbotsford school

Officials sniffing out which regulators responsible for enforcing compliance at neighbouring property

Most Read