Maple Leaf Foods fined $200,000 after workers injured in two incidents
Kitchener, Ont.’s Maple Leaf Foods Inc., a Toronto producer of frozen and prepared foods, was fined $200,000 for two violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after workers were injured in two separate incidents.
On July 26, 2010, a worker at the company’s Kitchener factory was operating a machine that folds and glues cardboard into boxes. The machine jammed and the worker opened its gate and reached in to remove the jam. Once the jam was cleared, the machine activated and crushed the worker’s arm.
An investigation found the machine’s moving parts had not been stopped and blocked prior to the worker removing the jam.
Maple Leaf Foods was fined $100,000 for failing to ensure that the jam was removed only when motion that could endanger the worker was stopped and the machine’s moving parts were blocked.
On Dec. 29, 2010, at the Kitchener factory, a worker was checking a machine to make sure sanitary standards were met before work began for the day. The worker saw a piece of plastic wrap stuck in the machine’s conveyor system. The worker reached in to remove the plastic wrap and the conveyor activated when the debris was dislodged. The worker’s glove got caught in the conveyor and the worker’s hand was pulled into the equipment.
The worker had not been instructed on the proper procedures for removing debris from the machine. The worker was also not taught how to effectively lock out power to the machine.
Maple Leaf Foods was fined $100,000 for failing to ensure that the worker was provided information, instruction and supervision on the safe procedures for cleaning and locking out the machine.
The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Cuthbertson. In addition to the fines, the court imposed a 25-per-cent 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.