Meat Processing Plant Fined $82,500 for Three Violations in Two Incidents

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A worker at a meat processing plant was loading frozen blocks of meat into a grinder machine. One block was too frozen to be drawn into the grinder machine by the rotating feedscrew. When the worker pushed down on the block, the meat suddenly moved and his hand was pulled down into the hopper toward the feedscrew, resulting in a partial amputation. An MOL investigation determined that the grinder machine wasn’t equipped with a guard to prevent access to the rotating feedscrew. In a separate incident, a worker tried to replace a plug underneath a corkscrew conveyor attached to a meat grinder machine. When the worker tried to clean out the plug hole, his hand made contact with the rotating screw auger of the conveyor. As a result, he suffered amputations. The MOL found that not only wasn’t the corkscrew conveyor stopped, turned off or locked out as required, there were also no written safety procedures for the corkscrew conveyor and the grinder machine operator hadn’t been trained on the proper use and function of the conveyor’s control panel. The company pleaded guilty and was fined a total of $82,500 for three offences [D & S Meat Products Ltd., Govt. News Release, May 20, 2016].