Blog Post #224 – Maple Leaf Consumer Foods Inc. Fined $100,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario ‘Newsroom’

Maple Leaf Consumer Foods Inc., of Kitchener, was fined $100,000 yesterday for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On November 13, 2008, at the company’s factory in Brampton, a worker was preparing equipment that puts sauce on meat products. As the worker was attaching a return hose to a pump, the worker’s finger was caught in the pump and its tip was severed. The pump had been running while the worker was doing this preparation work.

Maple Leaf Consumer Foods Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the worker adjusted the equipment only when motion that could endanger a worker was stopped.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Karen Jensen. 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:

Maple Leaf Consumer Foods Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 75 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851 which states,

“A part of a machine, transmission equipment, device or thing shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when,

a) Motion that may endanger a worker has stopped; and
b) Any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement.”

Another company has not read the appropriate section concerning ‘Machine Guarding’ or the section concerning ‘Maintenance and Repairs’. Section 72 to section 78 inclusive deal directly with ‘Maintenance and Repairs’ and should be read. Most trades people would have had proper lockout and tagout training and the blocking of any machine to prevent the inadvertent movement of the machine is part of the training.

Any company should use the information provided in the section listed above to complete a proper maintenance program. If the machine can move after the power supply has been lockout out then the blocking of the moving parts is mandatory.

I would wager that Maple Leaf Consumer Foods Inc. has had to brush up on the appropriate sections of the regulation and enhance the in-house training. It would seem to be the right call if this company commits to a permanent correction plan.

One can only hope.

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’ and ‘Lockout and Tagout’. 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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