Nations Fresh Foods fined $60,000 After Worker Suffers Injuries
HAMILTON, ON - A Hamilton grocery store has pleaded guilty and has been fined $60,000 after a worker was critically injured while operating a meat grinding machine.
On August 15, 2013, a worker at the company's premises located at 2 King Street West in Hamilton was instructed by a supervisor to grind chicken using a meat mincing/grinding machine. The table-top machine is operated by feeding pieces of meat into a small hole or inlet that leads into a shaft, then to an auger. The auger grinds the meat and pushes the ground meat out of the front of the grinder.
The grinder comes equipped with a barrier guard that fits above the inlet. It is installed by screws and when in use, the guard prevents a user's fingers from entering into the inlet area. A plunger is used to push the meat through the guard and into the auger area.
At the time of the incident, the guard that is attached to the feed tray to prevent access to the inlet and shaft of the grinder was not in place. The worker began feeding the meat directly into the inlet area by hand. The worker made contact with the moving auger resulting in a critical injury.
A Ministry of Labour investigation revealed that the guard that would have prevented contact with the auger had been missing from the grinder for an unknown period of time before the incident. The store began operating at the start of July 2013. Further, the manufacturer's operating instructions for the grinder specifically warned against using the grinder without the safety devices installed around the inlet area.
Section 25 of Ontario Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation) requires that "an in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point."
In addition, Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by Section 25 of Regulation 851 are carried out at the workplace. Nations Fresh Foods failed to ensure that the grinder was guarded by a guard or other device as prescribed.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Ivana Baldelli at the provincial Offences Court in Hamilton court on September 1, 2015.
In addition to the fine, the court 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.
Court Information at a Glance
Provincial Offences Court/Ontario Court of Justice
45 Main Street East
Justice of the Peace Ivana Baldelli
Date of Sentencing:
September 1, 2015
2168532 Ontario Inc.
carrying on business as
Nations Fresh Foods
2 King Street West
Occupational health and safety
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Ontario Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments Regulation)