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Company Fined $54,500 for Guarding Violation

Four workers were processing mushrooms in the production room of a plant. They manually fed raw mushrooms onto the conveyor, which carried them up and dropped them into the intake chute of the cutter. When a jam occurred, the worker in charge of the intake hopper and exit was required to stick a piece of PVC pipe into the hopper or chute while the blades were still in motion to loosen the mushrooms. When climbing up to clear a jam at the entry chute, a worker slipped and made contact with the cutter’s blades, suffering permanent injuries. The MOL investigation found that the exit chute wasn’t equipped with a guard or other device to protect workers from the exposed moving blade. The company pleaded guilty to a guarding violation and was fined $54,500 [Southcoast IQF Inc., Govt. News Release, Oct. 25, 2016].