Blog Post #433 – Food Directions Inc. Fined $60,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Food Directions Inc., a Scarborough pasta manufacturer, was fined $60,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On March 30, 2009, a worker was cleaning a pasta mixer at the company’s Scarborough facility. The worker’s arm was caught in the mixer’s moving blades, causing serious injury.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the mixer’s electrical interlock switch, a device to stop the blades from moving when the mixer was open, was not maintained in good condition.

Food Directions Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the electrical interlock switch was maintained in good condition.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace John Cottrell. 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:

Food Directions Inc. was found guilty of violating section 25, sub-section 1 (b) of the OHSA which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(b) The equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition.”

There was a time when I had an employer/customer allow 6 of their forklifts to be defective at the same time. Some were defective to a point where the operators were in immediate danger. Under section 66 of the OHSA the maximum personal fine for any contravention is $25,000. Do the math, 6 X $25,000 = $150,000. The Plant Manager, by way of the JHSC, was told that it was his/here responsibility and 6 new trucks were leased right away. There were returned when those in need of repair were returned to service.

By the way, two of the original trucks were deemed to be beyond hope and the company kept two of the leases.

The senior person on site is supposed to be the one responsible for the safety of the employees. If this is you, then please read sections 25 and 26 of the OHSA for further details.

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 ‘Machine Guarding’, Lockout and Tagout’ and ‘Due Diligence’. 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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