Convicted: 2332381 Ontario Inc. operating as Truly Green, 162 Bloomfield Road, Chatham, ON N7M 0R4, a company that operates a greenhouse at which it grows tomatoes.
Location of Workplace: 162 Bloomfield Road, Chatham, ON N7M 0R4.
Description of Offence: A worker was critically injured while performing work at the company’s facility.
Date of Offence: January 6, 2020.
Date of Conviction: November 24, 2021.
- Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Blenheim, Truly Green was fined $70,000 by Justice of the Peace Salma Jafar; Crown Counsel Judy Chan.
- The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
- A worker was asked to clean the irrigation room in the company’s greenhouse.
- This room contains four plastic tanks, each approximately eight and a half feet high, with a capacity of 2,500 gallons.
- At the top of and between two of the tanks is a rotating shaft powered by an electric motor and gear box.
- The shaft is connected to a set of paddles inside the tank, which act as agitators. When the shaft rotates, the paddles stir the contents of the tanks.
- On the date of the incident, the power to the shaft was not locked out, and the shaft was rotating while cleaning was being done.
- While kneeling and leaning over the tank rails to clean the tank, the worker fell inside the shaft and sustained critical injuries.
- The worker had not previously worked in the irrigation room and was not provided with written instructions for the cleaning of the tanks. No specific procedures were in place or communicated to workers for this task.
- Section 25(2(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act states: “An employer shall provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker at a workplace.”
- Accordingly, the defendant failed to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker, an offence contrary to section 66 (1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.