Blog Post #1364 – Critical Injury at Greenhouse Facility Results in $70,000 Fine for Chatham-based Company

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s Newsroom

A worker, employed by Truly Green of Chatham, Ontario was critically injured while performing work at the company’s facility.

The worker was asked to clean the irrigation room in the company’s greenhouse.

This room contains four plastic tanks, each approximately eight and a half feet high, with a capacity of 2,500 gallons. At the top of and between two of the tanks is a rotating shaft powered by an electric motor and gear box. The shaft is connected to a set of paddles inside the tank, which act as agitators. When the shaft rotates, the paddles stir the contents of the tanks.

On the date of the incident, the power to the shaft was not locked out, and the shaft was rotating while cleaning was being done. While kneeling and leaning over the tank rails to clean the tank, the worker fell inside the shaft and sustained critical injuries.

The worker had not previously worked in the irrigation room and was not provided with written instructions for the cleaning of the tanks. No specific procedures were in place or communicated to workers for this task.

Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Blenheim, Truly Green was fined $70,000 by Justice of the Peace Salma Jafar; Crown Counsel Judy Chan.

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:

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

“An employer shall,

  • provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

‘Lockout and Tagout’ is a standard right across all workplace sectors. Surely, ‘Truly Green’ should have known this and better prepared their employees.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Electrical Safety Awareness’ and ‘Lockout and Tagout’. 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
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.




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