An industrial bakery in Toronto has been fined $50,000 after one of its workers suffered serious injuries while cleaning an industrial dough mixer, known as a “dough chunker.”
In an Ontario government news release issued Tuesday, the province said the incident happened on March 22, 2021, at Niche Bakers Corp. on 6680 Finch Ave. West, located near Highway 27.
According to the release, two workers were cleaning the dough chunker, which was inside a gated and fenced-off zone. The entrance to the mixer is controlled by safety gates, which would prevent the dough chunker from starting when open.
Whenever a worker is inside the gated zone, the power is required to be off with the safety gates left open.
One of the bakery’s employees was inside the gated zone to clean the mixer at the time, while another worker was at the control panel outside the zone, the release reads. The second worker – contrary to safety procedures – closed the safety gates and reset the system.
The province says the employee cleaning the dough chunker asked their coworker to turn the machine on momentarily in order to rotate the uncleaned portions of the machine parts, so they could clean it.
Consequently, the worker cleaning the dough chunker was seriously injured by the rotating blades.
Under Industrial Establishments in Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 76(a) states that if the starting of a machine could endanger a worker’s safety, control switches or mechanisms “shall be locked out so that the machine cannot be activated.”
Since Niche Bakers Corp. failed to ensure that these measures were being carried out, the Ontario Court of Justice fined the company $50,000 following a guilty plea on Jan.13, 2023.
On top of that, the court imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge, as mandated by the Provincial Offences Act.