Vegetable Processing Facility Fined $80,000 for Guarding Violation

A worker at a vegetable processing facility was critically injured while cleaning a dewatering tank and conveyor belt. This task required rinsing the equipment with water, scrubbing the equipment, applying a foam cleaner and rinsing again. The standard operating procedures required the conveyor belt to be on and moving when spraying and rinsing was being done, but also required the conveyor belt to be locked out when a worker scrubbed it. While scrubbing the conveyor, which wasn’t locked out, the worker’s arm got caught in a pinch point and pulled into the running conveyor belt. The machine wasn’t equipped with a guard, which would’ve prevented access to the pinch point. The facility pleaded guilty to a guarding violation and was fined $80,000 [Bonduelle Canada Inc., Govt. News Release, Nov. 14, 2016].