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Maintenance worker killed when pressure tank was tested for leaks

Leamington, ON -- June 19, 2002 -- H.J. Heinz Company of Canada Ltd., a Toronto-based manufacturer of food products...


Leamington, ON — June 19, 2002 — H.J. Heinz Company of Canada Ltd., a Toronto-based manufacturer of food products with a production facility in Leamington, was fined $200,000 earlier this year for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in the death of an employee.

On May 23, 2001, a maintenance worker was checking for leaks around an access door on a pressure vessel tank when the door flew open and struck the worker. The incident occurred after the worker pressurized the tank with compressed air to see if the air would leak from the door’s seal. As the worker stood in front of the door, 10 of 12 bolts securing the door failed.

The worker was later pronounced dead at the Leamington District Memorial Hospital. The incident occurred at H.J. Heinz Company of Canada’s plant on Erie Street S. in Leamington, Ont.

H.J. Heinz Company of Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to ensure the access door was properly secured to protect the worker, failing to ensure the tank’s maintenance and operation was in accordance with the Boiler and Pressure Vessels Act and failing to ensure the contractor which installed the access door was qualified to perform the work.