Maple Leaf Foods fined $120K after worker suffers arm injury

Saturday September 16, 2017
Written by Ontario Ministry of Labour
Sep. 16, 2017 - Maple Leaf Foods Inc. pleaded guilty and was fined $120,000 after a worker was injured.

On Mar. 23, 2016, a Maple Leaf Foods worker was preparing to dump deboned chicken into a hopper for processing at the company’s facility in Hannon, Ont. The chicken was loaded onto a pallet in a large cardboard and plastic box called a “combo.” The worker placed the pallet in the processing equipment so that it could be raised and dumped in the hopper.

During the dumping of the chicken the combo collapsed, causing the chicken to get stuck inside. The worker began lowering the combo to try to fix it, but it fell out of position on the equipment. The worker attempted to correct the positioning by hand and the pallet holding the combo slid down and struck the worker’s arm, causing injuries.

An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the chicken was not moved in such a way, and with necessary precautions safeguards in place, to protect the safety of a worker as required by section 45(a) of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments. This was in violation of section 25 (1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Maple Leaf Foods pleaded guilty and was fined $120,000. 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.

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