CFN – Following the death of a worker, Monaghan Mushrooms Ltd., a Campbellville mushroom grower, has pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable precautions for the safety of workers and has been fined $140,000.
In the fall of 2011, the company’s mushroom farming facility at 7345 Guelph Line, Campbellville had been undergoing an extensive construction project that included new concrete pads, drainage and new buildings. On December 20, a section of the farm that included a new concrete pad was turned over to Monaghan Mushrooms so the company could resume farming operations on that part of the site.
On that day, a Monaghan Mushrooms employee began driving a front-end loader back and forth on the new pad in order to pick up compost from one end of the pad and drop it into a hopper at the other end of the pad. This task required the driver to operate in forward and reverse, and workers were crossing the pad while this activity was underway.
A worker employed by a sub-contractor was crossing the concrete pad and was struck by the front-end loader while it was operating in reverse; the worker was pronounced dead at the scene.
In court on April 8, Monaghan Mushrooms pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker, specifically for failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that workers did not walk on a concrete pad while a wheel loader was being operated. The company was fined $140,000 by Judge Richard J. LeDressay in Burlington.
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.