Caledon, ON – Tupling Farms Ltd., a Shelburne potato farm, was fined $90,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed.
On September 21, 2010, on a field in the Township of Melancthon, workers were harvesting potatoes. Some plant material got tangled in the harvester and the workers cleared it away. The operator of the harvester was then signaled to reverse the machine. While in reverse it rolled over and killed a worker who, unbeknownst to the operator, had moved from the front of the harvester.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Tupling Farms Ltd. had not developed or implemented any written procedures for safely cleaning debris from the harvester.
Tupling Farms Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of developing and implementing written procedures for the safe clearing of debris from a harvester.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Barnes. In addition to the fine, the court 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.