Elmira Pet Products fined $112,500 after worker critically injured in fall at Ontario plant
Health & Safety Fines ontario
Elmira Pet Products Ltd. has been fined more than $112,000 for failing to ensure proper safety measures at its manufacturing plant in Elmira, Ont.
The company pled guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kitchener on Sept. 18, 2023, for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that led to a worker’s critical injuries.
The incident occurred on June 28, 2022, when a contract worker was assigned to clean an area between two floors, known as the interstitial space, at the Elmira Pet Products Ltd. manufacturing facility.
The space, approximately six feet high, contains wiring, piping, and is accessible through five hatches. The worker was instructed to access the space through a hatch located on the second floor, which was equipped with a guardrail and gate.
While cleaning near another hatch that lacked both a guardrail and a protective covering, the worker stepped backward and their foot landed on the hatch. The hatch shifted under their weight, causing the worker to fall approximately 18 feet and sustain critical injuries.
The company was fined $90,000, plus a 25% victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, bringing the total to $112,500. The surcharge is designated for a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
After the accident, Elmira Pet Products Ltd. took immediate steps to enhance safety at the plant. A guardrail was installed around the hatch in question to prevent further incidents. The company also introduced a written procedure for safe entry and exit to interstitial locations within the facility.