OHS Canada Magazine

Cargill fined $100K after worker injured at poultry plant


July 21, 2022
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Fines

Cargill has been fined $100,000 after a worker was injured at its poultry plant in London, Ont.

Just after midnight on Oct. 26, 2020, workers were using a forklift to move a heavy machine (weighing about 900 kg) from a maintenance area to the location where it was normally used.

Two workers and their supervisor had performed a pre-job hazard assessment to identify potential hazards and what they would do to minimize them. They discussed the weight and stability of the machine and talked about using a strap to secure the machine to the forklift.

The team decided to use a Raymond Reach Forklift Truck to move the machine. They planned to go slow and keep the load low to the ground to address the hazards. The team did not use a strap to brace the machine against the forklift mast, despite a strap being available.

Instead, the machine was loaded across the forks of the forklift in a way that did not place the heaviest part of the machine against the forklift mast. This made the load less stable, and more susceptible to tipping.

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The two workers began to move the machine, with one worker driving the forklift and the other acting as a spotter. Partway through the trip a third worker joined the team as a second spotter.

The third worker saw a foot of the machine hit the ground and called to the driver to stop. The driver stopped and the third worker signaled the driver to lift the load slowly.

The driver started adjusting the load but moved the load down instead of up, then corrected by quickly lifting the load up again. This overcorrection caused the machine to tip.

As the machine tipped over, the first spotter was able to get out of the way, but the third worker was not. The machine landed on this worker, causing critical injuries.

Section 45(b) of the Ontario Regulation for Industrial Establishments requires materials, articles or things to be transported in such a way that they do not tip, collapse or fall.
Cargill Limited contravened Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act by failing, as a constructor, to ensure that the measures and procedures required by Section 45(b) of Ontario Regulation 851/90 were carried out.

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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