Karoly Fekete, a 29-year-old Hungarian native, died on May 1 2006, after a crane malfunctioned at Linamar’s Camtac Manufacturing factory on Arrow Road. The ministry said Fekete touched an electrical source when he grabbed the overhead chain of the crane. It was the second fatality in six months at a Linamar facility.

The information filed in a Guelph court alleges that Linamar failed as an employer to obey provincial regulations on supervision, instruction, precaution and equipment maintenance.

The allegations have not been proven in court. A preliminary court date has been set for May 2 before a justice of the peace.

Company spokesperson Crystal Hyde said Linamar can’t comment. “We cannot discuss the details of the charges as the matter remains before the courts,” Hyde said.

The Camtac factory produces engine components for Caterpillar Inc., a construction equipment company.

The Ministry of Labour is pursuing related charges against Jerrico Industrial Maintenance, a millwright company based in Orangeville, and Guelph resident Nick Barnes, identified as a supervisor at the Arrow Road plant.

Linamar is also facing two charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act stemming from a fatality that occurred six months before Fekete’s death. William Xu, 44, was pinned between the doors of a large machine called a blanchard grinder on October 28 2005, at a company plant in Ariss. He was pronounced dead at Guelph General Hospital.

That matter is still at a preliminary stage and no trial date has been set.

The deaths of Xu and Fekete brought concern last year from officials with the Canadian Auto Workers Union about safety at Linamar facilities.

Jim Woods, a national service representative with union, said the province needs tougher legislation and more labour inspectors to prevent similar incidents from occurring. He said there seems to be a trend of poor training at non-unionized plants across the province. “We need to continue to increase worker awareness,” Woods said.

Story by Brian Whitwham