Blog Post #489 – Parmalat Canada Inc. Fined $120,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Parmalat Canada Inc., a Toronto dairy manufacturer, was fined $120,000 for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On February 28, 2011, at the company’s Mitchell, ON, facility, a worker was sanitizing a pipe system in the plant. The cleaning process involved running heated water through the pipes to clear them of the previous product. After the worker hooked up the pipes and turned on the Clean in Place, a system used to clean the pipes, the worker noticed that not all the pipes were getting hot. The worker realized there was an incorrect hookup, shut off the Clean in Place and dissembled two connecting elbows in the pipe system. A third elbow flew off and leaked hot water on the worker, causing first and second degree burns.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the pipe system did not have its direction of flow positively identified. Furthermore, an inspector’s order issued in 2009 for the company to identify the direction of flow in its pipe system had not been complied with.

Parmalat Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the direction of flow was positively identified on the pipe system. The company was fined $110,000 for this offense.

Parmalat Canada Inc. also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an order by an inspector and was fined $10,000.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Cuthbertson. In addition to the fines, 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 62 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“A piping system containing a substance which, because of its toxicity, temperature, pressure, flammability or other property, is hazardous, shall have its contents and direction of flow positively identified,

(a) At valves and fittings;

(b) Where a pipe passes through a wall or floor; and

(c) Where circumstances may make such contents or direction of flow doubtful.”

Parmalat Canada inc. was also found guilty of violating section 66, subsection 1(b) which states,

“Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with,

(b) an order or requirement of an inspector or a Director, is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than twelve months, or to both.”

The world seems a better place if everyone can be in compliance. You would think that everyone would take the time and work to comply with a MOL work order. In this case, I guess it just slipped their minds. Maybe they thought no one would notice. I cannot imagine that to be the case but how else would you justify the lack of respect for the MOL. Where was the follow-up by the inspector?

The law is the law! Please ensure that all regulations and sections of the Act are being complied with.

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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