Chicken processor fined $150,000 in death of worker

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Chicken processor fined $150,000 in death of worker

BARRIE, ON, Jan. 7 - A Bradford-based commercial chicken processing company pleaded guilty and was fined $150,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice today in connection with the 2006 death of a worker. Justice of the Peace Brian O. Norton heard that on April 7, 2006, a worker at the Sure Fresh Foods Inc. plant at 3855 4th Line, Bradford, had entered an empty 80,000 litre water tank to weld a crack. When the welding torch was ignited an explosion occurred. The worker suffered third degree burns and died in hospital. Investigations by the Ministry of Labour and the Office of the Fire Marshall found that the fuel source for the explosion was clear and odorless, naturally occurring methane gas that had likely entered the tank in the water drawn from the employer's well. The investigations concluded that the absence of a confined space policy and an air monitoring protocol allowed the explosive build-up of gas to go undetected. The employer did not have any written procedures for confined space entry or the appropriate testing equipment to monitor the air quality in the tank. As a result, the worker had not been provided with appropriate confined space entry training. Sure Fresh Foods Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to the worker to protect health and safety as required by section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act by failing to provide instruction on confined space entry protocols and procedures. In addition to the fines, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime. -------------------------------------------------------- Court Information at a Glance ----------------------------- Location: Ontario Court of Justice, Courtroom 1 56 Mulcaster St., Barrie, Ontario Judge: Justice of the Peace Brian O. Norton Date: January 7, 2008 Defendants: Sure Fresh Foods Inc. Matter: Occupational Health & Safety -------------------------------------------------------- Disponible en français www.labour.gov.on.ca Contact Info For further information: Bruce Skeaff, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405; Alexandra Bednar, Crown Counsel, Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Labour, (416) 212-1069 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Bruce Skeaff, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405; Alexandra Bednar, Crown Counsel, Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Labour, (416) 212-1069