Blog Post #603 – Bunge Canada Holdings Fined $115,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Bunge Canada Holdings 1 ULC of Nova Scotia, a company that manufactures, processes and markets edible oil products, has been fined $115,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker broke a limb.

On April 3, 2012, at the company’s Oakville plant, a worker was trying to remove a tamper evidence sticker that had adhered to an inside wall of the elevator housing for a conveyor line. The conveyor line is used to move packages of product; a ram pushes the packages into a cardboard shipping box. The elevator housing was unguarded from the top and the worker’s arm and hand became trapped between the ram on a return stroke and the pack-plate of the elevator housing. The worker suffered a broken arm. A Ministry of Labour investigation followed.

Bunge pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that equipment was guarded as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and was fined $115,000.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Kenneth Dechert. 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:

Bunge Canada was found guilty of a contravention of section 25 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“An in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point.”

Bunge Canada was also found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

In any sector, ‘Machine Guarding’ is important enough to be reviewed and updated on a yearly basis. Training would have gone a long way in promoting machine safety in this particular workplace.

Please ensure that your organization reviews the OHSA as well as the appropriate sector regulations. Only the adherence to these pieces of legislation can your company comply and protect yourself through ‘Due Diligence’.

It must have been a severe issue at Bunge Canada since the fine seemed a little high. Mind you, it is not about the severity only but the amount is also calculated on how much an organization can afford to pay. Tell that to the employee that was placed at risk!

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’, ‘Machine Guarding’ 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 – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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