Blog Post #403 – Parmalat Canada Inc. Fined $100,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Parmalat Canada Inc., a producer of milk and dairy products, was fined $100,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On December 18, 2009, at the company’s facility in Mitchell, ON, a worker was checking that a pipe system had been properly cleaned. The cleaning process involves running hot water through the pipes. While taking apart one of the valves in the pipe system, the worker was suddenly sprayed by hot water. The worker received first and second degree burns.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that there was no need for the water in the pipes to be kept hot while the worker was checking the system.

Parmalat Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that any water remaining in the pipe system was not hot prior to a worker opening the valves of the system.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Lorenzo Palumbo. 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:

Parmalat Canada Inc., was found guilty of a contravention of  section 25, subsection 2(h)  of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

As I keep saying, this particular section of the OHSA is used more than any others. Though general in nature, it can be used as a stop-gap measure until edits can be made to the OHSA and the appropriate regulations. The readership must be getting used to this by now.

I used to have over 75,000 comments until a few months ago. We had a change of web hosts and somewhere in the ether we lost many of those comments. We are closing in on 20,000 at this time and I hope to review each and everyone. Keep them coming!!!

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’ 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 – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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