New Westminster pub fined after chef dies in kitchen

River’s Reach Pub has to pay more than $9,000 for a number of safety violations that WorkSafeBC says contributed to the death of one of its chefs last year.

On March 22, 2017, the blade of a meat slicer at the pub needed sharpening. While being sharpened, the sharpener, called a sharpening assembly, which is a separate piece that attaches to the moving blade while sharpening, was taken off to be cleaned, according to WorkSafeBC’s May/June magazine.

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Meanwhile, one of the pub’s chefs went to reach for a container on a shelf above the moving blade and fell onto the slicer. He was taken to hospital but did not survive his injuries, according to WorkSafeBC.

An investigation into the incident by WorkSafeBC determined that leaving the meat slicer on while the sharpening assembly was removed for cleaning violated the manufacturer’s instructions, which include turning off and unplugging the slicer in such a situation.

The investigation also revealed that River’s Reach Pub “did not have an occupational health and safety program as required or written safe work procedures in place.”

The pub also failed to conduct workplace inspections, ensure machinery was used properly and safeguard the health and safety of its workers, according to WorkSafeBC.

For these reasons WorkSafeBC fined River’s Reach Pub $9,450.

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