06/22/2012 12:14 EDT | Updated 08/22/2012 05:12 EDT

Severed thumb, cut fingers cost chicken plant $25K

A St. John's-based chicken processing facility has pleaded guilty to two occupational health and safety charges after one of its employees was badly injured at work.

The Country Ribbon Inc. employee severed his thumb, cut two fingers, and dislocated two fingers in December 2009 when he used his hand to clean a rotating-blade, chicken-cutting machine.

According to an agreed statement of facts filed in court, the employee wasn’t properly trained on how to clean the 9-piece cutting machine at the chicken processing plant in Pleasantville, in the east end of St. John's.

The agreed statement of facts also said the company’s Standard Operating Procedures material did not include a warning from the machine’s manufacturer that read: “Use only the elongated spray-type gun to clean the rotating machine. Do not reach hands or arms into the cutter area.”

Country Ribbon pleaded guilty to two violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The company was fined $20,000 and ordered to pay $5,000 in victim fine surcharges and educational fees to the provincial department of Government Services.

Two other safety charges — one against the company and another against a supervisor — were dropped.