By Connor Lynch
CAMPBELLVILLE — A mushroom farm just east of Guelph was fined $112,500 last month after an employee was seriously injured by a forklift. It’s not the first time the company’s been fined after a collision, though the previous one was fatal.
Monaghan Mushrooms at Campbellville, east of Guelph, pleaded guilty to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and was fined $90,000 last month, plus a 25 per cent victim surcharge. The company is headquartered in Ireland, and also has locations in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.
The farm got into trouble after two employees had a collision in April of 2017. One was operating a forklift; the other was driving a pallet truck. The driver of the forklift started backing up at the same time the pallet truck pulled forward, both believing they had the right of way. The forklift and pallet truck collided. The truck driver was hurled to the ground.
The company was charged for not having a policy on right of way in the warehouse.
It’s not the first collision on the farm. In 2011, a worker was killed by a front-end loader that was backing up. One employee was working the loader, dropping off compost from one end of a concrete pad into a hopper at the other end. Workers were crossing the pad at the time, and the front-end loader backed into one of them, killing one. The company pleaded guilty and was fined $175,000 for failing to keep workers off the concrete pad while the loader was in use.