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tashatuvango, Bigstock
on October 2, 2017

Maple Leaf Foods fined for worker injury

Worker and equipment fall from loading dock at facility in Thamesford, Ontario

Maple Leaf Foods pleaded was fined CA$110,000 (US$ 87,891) after a worker was injured in a fall from a loading dock. 

The incident took place at the company's facility located at 149 Brock Street in Thamesford, Ontario, on September 4, 2015.

According to a press release from the Ontario government, an employee for a rental company arrived on site to service a one-person lift called a Genie GR-12 which is used for warehousing, transporting and general maintenance. A truck was parked on a dock to move the lift and take it away. The truck had a roll-off system and the dock was equipped with a power dock leveler.

A Maple Leaf employee was asked to load the Genie lift onto the truck using an electric fork truck. The employee elevated the Genie from inside the workplace and drove forward, toward the deck, the press release stated. When the fork truck was passing between the power loading dock and the deck, the truck moved away from the power loading dock and traveled down the concrete ramp outside of the dock. The truck then struck a low concrete wall and stopped. The cab of the truck was unattended.

The fork truck, the Genie and the Maple Leaf employee fell from the power loading dock to the ground below, causing injuries to the Maple Leaf employee.

During a subsequent inspection by the Ministry of Labour, it was learned that no one placed blocks at the wheels of the truck to prevent movement and no one from Maple Leaf asked or ensured that the wheels of the truck were blocked as needed.

Maple Leaf pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that the safety procedures prescribed by the Regulation for Industrial Establishments (Regulation 851/90) were followed. Section 45(b)(i) of that regulation requires that materials, articles or things shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things will not tip, collapse or fall. The employer should have ensured that the Genie was transported in such a way that it would not tip, collapse or fall.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. was fined CA$110,000 in Woodstock court by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson on September 29, 2017.

The court also imposed a 25-percent 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.

Earlier fine for Maple Leaf Foods

The fine for the incident at the Thamesford plant was one of two in as many weeks for Maple Leaf Foods. The company on September 13 was fined CA$120,000 (US$98,635) after pleading guilty for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, regarding an incident when a worker was fiend at its Hannon plant when a pallet load of chicken meat slipped and struck a worker’s arm, causing injuries.

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