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Lack of guard on conveyor belt resulted in injury to worker

St. Catharines, ON -- Rich Products of Canada Limited., a Fort Erie, ON, producer of dough for the food servic...


St. Catharines, ON — Rich Products of Canada Limited., a Fort Erie, ON, producer of dough for the food service industry, was fined $80,000 in February 2010 for a violation of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused injury to a worker.

On December 19, 2008, workers were transferring pieces cut of dough from one conveyor belt onto sheets of paper on another conveyor belt. Paper was being fed onto the second conveyor belt by way of a roll under the belt. The roll of paper was getting low, so one worker stooped down by the conveyor belt to replace it. The worker noticed dough residue on the belt drive and reached up to clean it from the roll. The worker’s arm was drawn between the conveyor belt and the roll under it, causing multiple fractures and skin loss.

Rich Products of Canada pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the conveyor belt setup was equipped with a guard to prevent access to the pinch point between the belt and the roll under it.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace David Brown. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.