Richardson Foods, a division of H.J. Heinz, produces among other products Renee's salad dressings and sauces.
December 5, 2007, the Ontario Ministry of Labour issued the following News Release:ST. MARY'S COMPANY FINED $70,000 AFTER WORKER CRITICALLY INJURED
STRATFORD, Ont. - A St. Mary's, Ont., food processing and packaging company pleaded guilty on November 19, 2007, and was fined $70,000 on November 28, 2007, in the Ontario Court of Justice in connection with critical injuries suffered by a worker in 2006.
Judge K. McKerlie heard that, on May 31, 2006, a worker at Richardson Foods Limited, 25 South Service Rd., St. Mary's, was operating a machine – a Double Lane packing machine – used to package condiment sauces into cups which are then sealed and put into boxes. While the machine was in use to package hotcake syrup, it began to stick and have running problems. The worker, in trying to clear part of the machine, became trapped in the machinery by the head and suffered critical injuries.
Richardson Foods Limited pleaded guilty as an employer to failing to ensure that the machine was equipped with, or guarded by, a guard or other device that would have prevented access to a pinch point. This measure was required by section 25 of Ontario Regulation 851/90 and the employer's failure was contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.