Blog Post #625 – Oakrun Farm Bakery Ltd. Fined $60,000

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Oakrun Farm Bakery Ltd., an industrial bakery in Ancaster, Ontario has been fined $60,000 for a violation of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker broke an arm while cleaning dough from a machine.

On August 13, 2012 the bakery, located at 58 Carluke Road West, was processing dough on the bagel production line when the line stopped; the conveyor system was left running.

A worker reached into the conveyor from below to clean dough that had become stuck. The worker was using a metal scraper, which broke under the force the worker was using. The worker’s arm was drawn into the unprotected pinch point between the conveyor belt and the bottom of the machine’s idler pulley. The worker suffered a broken arm and required surgery.

Oakrun Farm Bakery Inc. pleaded guilty in Hamilton court to failing to ensure that motion on a machine that may endanger the safety of a worker was stopped before a worker cleans the machine.

The fine of $60,000 was imposed by Justice of the Peace Barbara J. Waugh on December 3, 2013.

In addition to the fine, 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Oakrun Farm Bakery Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 75 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“A part of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when,

(a) Motion that may endanger a worker has stopped; and

(b) Any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement.”

Oakrun Farm Bakery Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“The employer shall ensure that,

The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

This sure sounds very similar to the David Ellis tragedy about an accident with a dough-mixing machine. In that case, David was hauled in, suffered severe head trauma and died 6 days later. In that case, it set a precedent, the first industrial accident where the supervisor went to jail.

With very little change this could have ended up the same way and why should that have ever been?
Companies need to ensure that there is a set of safe written work instructions for the work being done, be it production, manufacturing, tooling or even maintenance. It the proper procedures were written, discussed, supervised and adhered to then this worker would never be at risk and would have saved him/her from the long term recovery issues dealing with a severely broken arm that required surgery.

I know I would have discussed the David Ellis tragedy with the entire company to show how close they came to a death in the workplace and how they should have learned from another employer’s mistakes.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, Lockout and Tagout, ‘Machine Guarding’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal – CHSEP – Advanced
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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