Blog |Post #1024 – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Fined $120,000 After Worker Injured

Blog |Post #1024 – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Fined $120,000 After Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. pleaded guilty and was fined $120,000 after a worker was injured.

On March 23, 2016, a Maple Leaf Foods worker was preparing to dump deboned chicken into a hopper for processing at the company’s facility at 440 Glover Road South in Hannon. The chicken was loaded onto a pallet in a large cardboard and plastic box called a “combo.” The worker placed the pallet in the processing equipment so that it could be raised and dumped in the hopper.

During the dumping of the chicken the combo collapsed, causing the chicken to get stuck inside. The worker began lowering the combo to try to fix it, but it fell out of position on the equipment. The worker attempted to correct the positioning by hand and the pallet holding the combo slid down and struck the worker’s arm, causing injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the chicken was not moved in such a way, and with necessary precautions safeguards in place, to protect the safety of a worker as required by section 45(a) of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments. This was in violation of section 25 (1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. pleaded guilty and was fined $120,000. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Kelly Visser. The court also 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.

My opinion

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ sector regulation 851/90, section 45, subsection ‘a’ which states,

“Material, articles or things,

  • required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards, including protective clothing, guards or other precautions as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker.”

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 1 (c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c)  the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

I wonder how and why the combo actually collapsed?  Why was the combo not engineered to withstand the process? Where was the supervisor in all this?

All good questions that should have been asked and answered prior to any work was to be done.

Any way you look at it, this company failed their workers.  There was no need for this type of accident to have occurred if the hazards were identified, assessed and controlled prior to any work was to be done.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259 We can also be reached at

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.