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Two Lockout Incidents Cost Food Company $200,000

A worker at a food company’s factory was operating a machine when it jammed. He opened its gate and reached in to remove the jam. But once the jam was cleared, the machine activated and crushed his arm. The MOL found the machine’s moving parts hadn’t been stopped and blocked before the worker removed the jam. In a separate incident, a worker checking a machine before work began for the day saw a piece of plastic wrap stuck in its conveyor system. He reached in to remove the plastic wrap and the conveyor activated when the debris was dislodged. His glove got caught in the conveyor, pulling his hand into the equipment. The worker hadn’t been instructed on the proper procedures for removing debris from the machine or how to effectively lock out the machine. The company was fined $200,000 for a lockout violation and failing to ensure that workers were trained on the safe procedures for cleaning and locking out machinery [Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Govt. News Release, Oct. 29, 2012].