NEWS

Pasta company fined $120K in fatal freak accident

06/21/2013 04:20 EDT | Updated 08/21/2013 05:12 EDT
A North York pasta maker involved in a freak accident has been fined a total of $120,000, after a worker was killed tumbling into an industrial dough machine while it was still running.

The accident occurred two years ago at Pasta Quistini Inc., when a 26-year-old worker standing on a platform ladder fell into a hopper that kneads and cuts pasta with an auger.

The victim was the future son-in-law of the owner of the company, which makes pastas, sauces and other prepared foods.

A cover to a hopper portion was meant to be secured when the victim's clothing became entangeld in the machine, pulling him in head-first, a family member told CBC News. A Ministry of Labour probe later found that an "interlock switch" meant to automatically shut the machine off when the cover was open was not functioning.

The company, which makes pastas, sauces and other prepared foods, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure its equipment and protective devices were in full working order.

Justice of the Peace Mark Conacher imposed a $120,000 Pasta Quistini Inc. A supervisor who pleaded guilty to failing to take the proper safety precautions to prevent the accident was fined $12,000.

In addition, 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.

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