Serious injuries to PoCo food manufacturing workers lead to a $55K fine

Serious injuries to PoCo food manufacturing workers lead to a K fine
Serious injuries to PoCo food manufacturing workers lead to a K fine

An employee at Port Coquitlam’s Nutri-Nation suffered “serious injuries” while cleaning a mixer that lacked safety guards.

A Port Coquitlam dry food manufacturer has requested a review of a recent five-figure fine it received from BC’s workplace watchdog.

An employee at Nutri-Nation Functional Foods Inc. (1110-1560 Broadway St.) recently suffered “serious injuries,” according to WorkSafeBC, after they were caught in a mixing machine.

This led to a total setback of $55,426.74 resulting from an inspection that claimed a number of “high-risk violations” from the incident.

In its publicly posted penalty description, WorkSafeBC stated the worker was scraping dough inside the mixer when it turned itself on and they hit the agitator — a rotating impeller that helps interact and mix ingredients together.

The organization added the machine “lacked guards and had not been locked out” at the time of the incident and its emergency stop button was out of the worker’s reach.

“In addition, the worker’s orientation and training had not included safe work procedures for cleaning the mixer,” WorkSafeBC said.

“The firm failed to ensure powered equipment had stopping controls located within easy reach of the operator.”

Nutri-Nation Functional Foods was also said to lack supervision or communication about potential hazards, as well as health and safety training for its workers, according to WorkSafeBC’s report.

The fine was issued on May 11.

Since then, Nutri-Nation has filed a request for a secondary review of the incident.

WorkSafeBC confirmed to the Tri-City News there is no update to publicly report, but the review is set to be completed within 150 days of the original submission.

“The primary purpose of an administrative penalty is to motivate the employer receiving the penalty — and other employers — to comply with occupational health and safety legislation and regulation, and to keep their workplaces safe,” the provincial firm added in a separate statement.

“Additionally, manufacturing workers are most at risk of injury by being caught in or struck by machinery — with fractures and lacerations to the fingers, hands and wrists being the most common injuries.”

WorkSafeBC recorded 5,579 known injuries to employees in BC’s manufacturing sector in 2022, 860 of which were written up as “serious.”

According to its website, Nutri-Nation is a family owned and operated business that’s operated in Port Coquitlam since 1971 specializing in energy and sports nutrition bars.

Its production facility opened in September 2013 in hopes of increasing production capacity, which more streaming lines added in 2014 and 2017.