Handi Foods Ltd convicted for unguarded hazard
Cracker and snack maker, Handi Foods Ltd. has been fined $100,000 after an employee was severely injured on the job.
The incident happened October 27, 2021, while a worker was on a production line that was making crackers.
They noticed dough building up in a roller and tried to dislodge it while the machine was operating by using a tool that could fir through an opening in the mesh cover guard that prevented access to the pinch point.
It didn’t work, and so the employee lifted the hinged cover guard and reached into the area to remove the dough and got caught in the pinch point, suffering serious injuries.
An interlock switch that had been equipped to the guard that would have shut down the machine when it was lifted.
“However, four days prior the maintenance supervisor had directed a bypass to be installed, allowing the guard to be lifted without stopping the machine. The interlock had been malfunctioning, preventing the machine from running smoothly,” says the Ministry of Labour.
A danger sign was placed on the guard, but a document from the machine manufacturer states interlocks and guards should not be bypassed.
“Handi Foods Ltd. violated Section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act by failing, as an employer, to ensure an in-running nip hazard was equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point, as required by Ontario Regulation 851, Section 25,” says the ministry, which adds the company had a prior conviction in 2007 related to a worker injured by unguarded equipment.
The ministry also says bypass devices had been installed on other machinery at the facility in Toronto at least two times before.