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Growmark fined for worker injury on conveyor

Injuries to a worker whose arm was pulled into a moving conveyor belt at a fertilizer storage site will cost ag co-op Growmark $80,000, an Ontario court ruled Tuesday.

The fine was levied Tuesday in a provincial court in Brockville, relating to a November 2006 incident at the storage facility at Kemptville, about 50 km south of Ottawa.

The facility “had been leased to another co-op for a number of years and its physical condition had deteriorated,” Ontario’s ministry of labour wrote in a release Wednesday. The site provided fertilizer ingredients to local farm co-ops.

“Growmark made some efforts to address the
equipment and structural deterioration when it took over the facility in the
fall of 2005, but hazardous conditions remained,” the ministry wrote.

On the day of the incident, the ministry said, a load of urea was being moved into a silo on a conveyor belt system, when one of the workers noticed raw material spilling from the top of the silo and climbed up to a catwalk next to the conveyor to check out the spill.

“The worker tripped on an object on the catwalk which
caused a fall onto the moving conveyor, an arm being pulled into an in-running
nip point,” the ministry wrote, adding that the worker suffered “facial and soft tissue arm injuries.”

The ministry found the condition of the catwalk didn’t meet occupational health and safety regulations. Growmark pled guilty Tuesday to violating those regulations and will also owe a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge, the ministry said.

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