Bonduelle Fined After Worker Injured

Monday November 14th, 2016

Posted at 6:44pm


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Bonduelle Tecumseh Plant as seen on Google Streetview

Bonduelle Canada Inc., which owns and operates a vegetable processing facility in Tecumseh has pleaded guilty and was fined after a worker was critically injured while cleaning a conveyor belt.

The incident happened on November 10th, 2015, when a worker employed as a sanitation cleaner was cleaning a dewatering tank and conveyor. This task required rinsing the equipment with water, scrubbing the equipment, application of a foam cleaner and rinsing again.

The standard operating procedures on which all sanitation employees were trained required the conveyor belt to be on and moving when spraying and rinsing was being done; however, the same procedure also required the lock-out of the conveyor belts when it was necessary for the worker to scrub anywhere near the conveyor belt. At the time of the incident, the worker had not locked out the conveyor belts.

While scrubbing the conveyor, the worker’s arm was pulled into the running conveyor belt after being caught in the pinch point created by the belt and housing. A co-worker stopped the machine and the conveyor belt was immediately dismantled to release the worker, who suffered injuries. The machine was not equipped with a guard, which would prevent access to the pinch point in question.

The company was fined $80,000 by Justice of the Peace Calvin Hurst. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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