OHS Canada Magazine

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Worker seriously injured in accident involving grain silo

Employee of chicken company, 58, sent to hospital


(Canadian OH&S News) — A 58-year-old employee of a chicken-processing company was seriously injured when he was trapped inside a grain silo in the greater St. John’s area on May 11.

The accident occurred at the Country Ribbon Feed Division operation on Topsail Road in Mount Pearl, according to information from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC). Police responded to a call about the incident at about 9:45 that morning, according to RNC media-relations officer Constable Geoff Higdon.

“We received reports that a worker had been injured in one of the silos,” said Const. Higdon. “I don’t have the exact details to what had happened in the file there, but it seems as though he may have sustained serious injuries inside the silo and was transported to hospital in serious condition.”

Federal occupational health and safety officials took over the investigation after RNC officers determined that the incident had not been criminal in nature, Const. Higdon added.

The St. John’s Regional Fire Department and an ambulance from Eastern Health also attended the accident scene, according to local media reports.

A source with Country Ribbon Inc. confirmed that the investigation was ongoing, but otherwise declined to comment on the incident, saying that it was far too early to offer a statement.

Employment and Social Development Canada, whose workplace safety department is investigating the accident, did not respond to COHSN’s request for comment before press time.

Const. Higdon noted that an RNC officer on the scene had initially contacted Service N.L., the provincial government department that deals with oh&s matters.

“The officer contacted the provincial oh&s and said they advised that this is federal oh&s, not provincial,” he explained, “and then they basically passed it on to the federal oh&s, who went to the scene.”

Country Ribbon is the only chicken producer and processor in Newfoundland and Labrador that is involved in every stage of the process of manufacturing the poultry, according to information from its website. The company is headquartered in St. John’s, but owns a feed operation in Mount Pearl.