Blog Post #1404 – Company Fined $100,000 After Workplace Injury at London Poultry Plant

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

An employee of Cargill Limited, an international company that provides food, agriculture and risk management products and services, dropped a heavy machine from a forklift onto a worker, injuring the worker.

Just after midnight on October 26, 2020, workers at the London facility were using a forklift to move a heavy machine (weighing about 900 kg) from a maintenance area to the location where it was normally used.

Two workers and their supervisor had performed a pre-job hazard assessment to identify potential hazards and what they would do to minimize them. They discussed the weight and stability of the machine and talked about using a strap to secure the machine to the forklift.

The team decided to use a Raymond Reach Forklift Truck to move the machine. They planned to go slow and keep the load low to the ground to address the hazards. The team did not use a strap to brace the machine against the forklift mast, despite a strap being available.

Instead, the machine was loaded across the forks of the forklift in a way that did not place the heaviest part of the machine against the forklift mast. This made the load less stable, and more susceptible to tipping.

The two workers began to move the machine, with one worker driving the forklift and the other acting as a spotter. Partway through the trip a third worker joined the team as a second spotter.

The third worker saw a foot of the machine hit the ground and called to the driver to stop. The driver stopped and the third worker signaled the driver to lift the load slowly. The driver started adjusting the load but moved the load down instead of up, then corrected by quickly lifting the load up again. This overcorrection caused the machine to tip.

As the machine tipped over, the first spotter was able to get out of the way, but the third worker was not. The machine landed on this worker, causing critical injuries.

Cargill Limited – Cargill Limitee was fined $100,000. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Kristine M. Diaz following a guilty plea at the provincial offences court in London, ON. Crown Counsel was Neil Dietrich.

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:

Cargill Limited was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation 851/90, section 45(b) 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, and

(ii) can be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of any worker.”

This is in direct 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 could not believe the Cargill Ltd. used a Raymond Reach to move an awkward machine. It is not meant to move this type of equipment. It is a narrow aisle forklift and is used to reach in and pick up material in tight or narrow spaces.

I guess Cargill did not train their workers properly.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Forklift Certification’ and ‘Forklift Re-certification’. 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 and Training Director





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