Blog Post #1056 – Mushroom Farm Fined for Injury

Blog Post #1056 – Mushroom Farm Fined for Injury

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A mushroom company in Ontario was fined $75,000 on May 16, 2019 in connection with the critical injury.

The incident took place on May 15, 2018 when workers have Highline Produce limited based in Leamington, Ontario were conducting filling operations in a mushroom grove room by using a hydraulic winch called and that winch puller to pull netting along the mushroom grow beds and fill them with compost.

One worker was operating the net winch puller by guiding to hydraulic winch cables connected to the netting into the winch. In the process of doing so, the worker was caught by one of the cables as it wrapped around the roller of the winch assembly. The worker was entangled and pulled into the winch assembly, suffering a critical injury.

An investigation by the Ministry of Labour determined that they hydraulic net winch puller in that grove room was not equipped with a guard or other device to prevent access to the pinch point the company pleaded guilty to section 25 subsection 2(h) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, (OHSA) which requires an employer to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers.

My opinion

This particular section of the OHSA has been used very often. It can be attributed to almost anything in the workplace across all four sectors. (Construction, Industrial, Healthcare, and Mining)

Highline Produce was found guilty of a contravention of the OHSA, section 25, subsection 2(h) which states,

“An employer shall

(h) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

I was also surprised that they didn’t use section 25 of the ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“An in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point.”

All operations must have a completed hazard assessment/analysis. In this case, the design of the equipment should have been safety-assessed to meet the regulatory requirements.

Too bad for the employee that this step was not completed prior to any work being initiated!

By the way, where was the supervisor in all this?


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

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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