Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Cargill Limited-Cargill Limitée, a merchandiser and processor of meat, eggs, malt and oilseed as well as the manufacture of livestock feed and salt, has pleaded guilty and received a fine of $40,000 after a worker sustained a broken finger in the workplace.

On July 5, 2012, the worker was in the process of setting up a production line at the company’s meat processing plant at 180 Watson Parkway South in Guelph. The production line included a conveyor belt, and the worker noticed that slats underneath the belt were out of position.

The worker lifted the belt with one hand and began to pound the slats back into place with the other hand. The worker had not locked out or otherwise disabled the conveyor belt. Another employee pressed the ‘start’ button on the conveyor belt and it began to move, pulling the worker’s hand into a sprocket. The worker sustained a broken finger on the hand that was pulled into the sprocket; the injured hand required a significant number of stitches.

Although the worker had received prior training on guarding and lock-out procedures in general, the worker was not provided training about locking out the conveyor belt on the production line.

Cargill pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In addition to the fine, 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Cargill was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 2(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall,

(a) Provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

I thought the Ministry of Labour found the right section to charge Cargill with. It wasn’t that the employee did not receive lockout and tagout training, but he/she did not receive specific procedural lockout and tagout training, in this case, for the conveyor.

Well done!

Ensure that your company provides all the training necessary for your employees to work safely. They are certainly entitled to it.

Enough said.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Workplace Specific Lockout and Tagout Training’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

2 comments on “Blog Post #675 – Cargill Limited Pleads Guilty, Fined $40,000 after Worker Injured On Production Line

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