Blog Post #985 – Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited Fined $70,000

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited (Gay Lea) pleaded guilty and has been fined $70,000 after a worker was injured by machinery.

On July 19, 2014, a Gay Lea worker operated a yogurt filling machine at the workplace located at 100 Clayson Road in Toronto. The worker noticed that a yogurt tube was stuck on the line and tried to free it by hand. The worker’s hand then made contact with the machine’s blades, causing injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that guards that would have prevented the worker’s hand from making contact with the blade were not in place while the blade was moving.

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited was fined $70,000 by Justice of the Peace Esme Lall. 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:

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ sector regulation 851/90, section 24 which states,

“Where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. was also found guilty of a contravention of a section 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.”

Machine Guarding is one of the more important sections of the ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation and covers all types of “Guarding” and is listed between section 24 to 44.2.

It would be very advisable for all employers read the sections and ensure compliance. Gay Lea, obviously, did not and placed their employees at risk.

HRS Group Inc. has an in-class program involving “Machine Guarding” and can come to your facility to deliver it as well as complete a risk assessment to aid your company to in the identification, the assessment of “machine guarding” hazards and recommend controls. Call Deborah at (705) 749-1259 and set up a time convenient to you.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

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.

1 thought on “Blog Post #985 – Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited Fined $70,000”

  1. I don’t think the title of your article matches the content lol. Just kidding, mainly because I had some doubts after reading the article.


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