Blog Post #1043 – Maple Leaf Foods Fined $110,000

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Maple Leaf Foods Inc./Les Aliments Maple Leaf Inc. pleaded guilty and was fined $110,000 after a worker was injured in a fall from a loading dock.

The incident took place at the company’s facility located at 149 Brock Street in Thamesford on September 4, 2015.

An employee for a rental company arrived on site to service a one-person lift called a Genie GR-12 which is used for warehousing, transporting and general maintenance. A truck was parked on a dock to move the lift and take it away. The truck had a roll-off system and the dock was equipped with a power dock leveler.

A Maple Leaf employee was asked to load the Genie lift onto the truck using an electric fork truck. The employee elevated the Genie from inside the workplace and drove forward, toward the deck.

When the fork truck was passing between the power loading dock and the deck, the truck moved away from the power loading dock and traveled down the concrete ramp outside of the dock. The truck then struck a low concrete wall and stopped. The cab of the truck was unattended.

The fork truck, the Genie and the Maple Leaf employee fell from the power loading dock to the ground below. The Maple Leaf employee suffered injuries.

During a subsequent inspection by the Ministry of Labour, it was learned that no one placed blocks at the wheels of the truck to prevent movement and no one from Maple Leaf asked or ensured that the wheels of the truck were blocked as needed. The employer should have ensured that the Genie was transported in such a way that it would not tip, collapse or fall.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. was fined $110,000 in Woodstock court by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson on September 29, 2017.

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

The law(s) in contravention:

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

“Material, articles or things,

(b) shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things,

(i) will not tip, collapse or fall.”

Since this was a contravention listed in the ‘Industrial’ regulation, Maple Leaf Foods Inc. was automatically in 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.”

Many questions should have been asked and answered before the work was to begin. Here are a few I think should lead any list:

  1. Where was the supervisor in all this?
  2. Was a JHA (Job Hazard assessment completed before the operation?
  3. Were there a set of written instructions for the operation?
  4. Was there Forklift training prior to the incident?
  5. Did the training inform the forklift operator that he/she was directly responsible to ensure the wheels were chocked?

These are just a few I came up with. My staff would come up with a few more.

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”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Forklift Certification’,  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 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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



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