Fatal accident at Penticton car dealership result of inadequate supervision, safety management: WorkSafe B.C. | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Fatal accident at Penticton car dealership result of inadequate supervision, safety management: WorkSafe B.C.

Quin Cormier, pictured in this photo from GoFundMe, died in an accident at the Skaha Ford dealership in Penticton, April 28, 2017. A WorkSafe B.C. incident investigation report says inadequate supervision and an inadequate safety management system were underlying factors in his death.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/GoFundMe

PENTICTON - A WorkSafe B.C. investigation has concluded a Penticton car dealership's inadequate supervision and safety management system were underlying factors in the death of one of its employees last year.

Quin Cormier, 36, was killed while working at Skaha Ford in Penticton as a detailer on April 28, 2017 when he was pinned between a SUV that was backing up out of a service bay and a parked pickup truck, according to a WorkSafe B.C. incident investigation report obtained by iNFOnews.ca.

The accident happened after an automotive technician replaced the front brake pads on the 2010 Ford Escape, the report says. When another shop employee backed it out of the service bay, the brake pedal went to the floor and it continued to move backward pinning Cormier against the GMC Sierra pickup.

Cormier was employed at the dealership performing detailing duties which included washing the interior and exterior as well as some undercoating, the report says. He also drove vehicles in and out of the dealership's service bays.

The WorkSafe investigation revealed Cormier acknowledged the driver of the Ford Escape as he was preparing to back out of the service bay, prior to walking toward the pickup also parked in the service bay, but Cormier’s back was to the Escape as the service worker put it in reverse. He was hit by the Escape’s rear bumper and pinned against the front bumper of the pickup.

A service technician called 911 while CPR was performed but Cormier succumbed to his injuries.

The investigation revealed the brake pads on the Escape had been installed correctly, but the brake pedal had not been pumped to force brake fluid back into the master cylinder, and as a result, the brake pads failed to make sufficient contact with the brake rotors to stop the vehicle’s wheels. The vehicle also had an interlock that prevents the transmission from being taken out of park until the brake pedal is depressed, but it only depended on the brake pedal being moved a small amount for the interlock to work.

The WorkSafe report concluded there was inadequate supervision of workers involved in the incident, noting the shop’s senior technician had not been monitoring the activities of other workers that day, and was not aware the technician had asked the service worker to remove the vehicle prior to completion of repairs.

The technician who repaired the Escape was responsible for driving the vehicle in and out of the shop, in addition to test driving each vehicle to verify repairs, but the service worker who moved the Escape did not receive instructions about brake repairs, so did not know about pumping the pedal following the repair.

The report also concluded there was an inadequate workplace safety culture at the dealership and it did not have a health and safety program that met the requirements of the Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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