Canadian Manufacturing

Maple Leaf Foods fined $110K after worker loses fingers in meat chopper

Fine handed down in Ontario court following July 2012 incident at Maple Leaf Foods' Toronto plant

TORONTO—An Ontario court has fined Maple Leaf Foods Inc. $110,000 after a worker lost some fingers in a meat chopping machine.

The provincial Ministry of Labour says the worker was operating the chopper at a Maple Leaf plant in Toronto on July 10, 2012, when the incident took place.

The machine had a cage that enclosed a moving blade.

Once the cage was lifted the blade was supposed to slowly come to a stop.

The worker operating the machine noticed that some meat had become stuck in the blade.

The worker lifted the safety cage and tried to use a hook to pull the meat from the blade, which continued to turn.

The hook became caught by the moving blade causing the worker’s hand to come into contact with the blade and resulted in the worker losing some fingers.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Maple Leaf failed as an employer to ensure that a part of a machine was cleaned only when motion that may endanger a worker had stopped.

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