OHS Canada Magazine

Maple Leaf Foods fined $170,000 after contractor hurt repairing industrial fans

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December 11, 2023
By OHS Canada

Hazmat Fines Maple Leaf Foods ontario

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Maple Leaf Foods has been fined $170,000 after a contractor was hurt while repairing two industrial fans at its facility in Brantford, Ont.

At the time of the incident an apprentice millwright employed by a third-party company was conducting maintenance and repair work at the Brantford facility. The worker was sent to investigate the malfunction of two process fans located inside a freezer.

Upon inspection of the fans, the worker observed there were openings in the guard over one fan, which was made from metal “tines” or “bars.”

The worker reached through one of the openings of the fan guard to attempt to turn the fan blades and free any possible obstruction. Unfortunately, the fans were operating at full speed, and thus caused a critical injury.

Following the incident, the worker was interviewed by a Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development inspector. The worker demonstrated a lack of knowledge on how to properly lock out the fans to ensure they were not operational.


It was later discovered that a secondary electrical panel needed to be locked out or switched off to isolate the electrical supply to the fan involved, but the panel was broken at the time. This made it impossible to lock out the fan even if the worker knew how to lock it out properly.

The Company therefore failed to ensure the machine was repaired only when the motion that may endanger a worker was stopped and/or blocked, as outlined by Section 75 of Ontario Regulation 851 and contrary to Section 25(1)(c) of the OHSA.

Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court, Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. was fined $170,000. 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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