Mushroom Farm Fined After Worker Hurt

Thursday May 16th, 2019

Posted at 3:25pm

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This article is 122 days old.

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Highline Produce Limited has been fined after a worker was injured after becoming caught in a moving cable and suffered a critical injury.

On May 15th, 2018, workers were conducting “filling operations” in a mushroom “grow room” at the facility in Leamington.

This task involves using a hydraulic winch to pull netting along the mushroom grow beds, filling the beds with compost as it does so. These winches are called “net winch pullers.”

One worker was operating the net winch puller on Row #3 by guiding the two hydraulic winch cables connected to the netting into the winch. While guiding the cables into the winch, the worker was caught by one of the cables as it wrapped around the roller of the winch assembly. The worker was entangled and pulled into the winch assembly which formed a pinch point. The worker suffered a critical injury as a result.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the hydraulic net winch puller on Row #3 in that grow room was not equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevented access to the pinch point.

Following a guilty plea on May 16th, 2019 Highline Produce Limited was fined $75,000.

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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