Worker entangled, pulled into hydraulic winch assembly
Highline Produce has been fined $75,000, plus a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge, after a was caught in a moving cable and suffered a critical injury.
On May 15, 2018, workers at Highline’s principal facility in Leamington, Ont. were conducting filling operations in a mushroom grow room. 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.Section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act provides that "an employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker at a workplace."
Highline failed to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that the hydraulic net winch puller on Row #3 in that grow room was equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevented access to the pinch point, contrary to section 25(2)(h) of the act. This is an offence pursuant to section 66(1) of the act.
Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour