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Cheese maker fined after worker loses fingers

Silani Sweet Cheese Ltd. fined $60,000 by Ontario Ministry of Labour


Barrie, Ont. – Silani Sweet Cheese Ltd. of Bradford West Gwillimbury, a cheese manufacturer with facilities located near Schomberg, has been fined $60,000 following a 2012 incident in which a worker lost two fingers.

In January 2012 workers were operating the moulding unit of a cheese-stretching machine. When the moulding unit became clogged with cheese the machine was shut down and then restarted after some maintenance. When the unit again began to clog, a worker reached into the discharge chute to clear it, at which point two of the worker’s fingers were caught in a pinch point in the machine and amputated.

In its investigation, the Ministry of Labour found that Silani Sweet Cheese had failed to ensure that the moulding unit of the stretching machine was equipped with a guard to prevent access to the pinch point. Silani Sweet Cheese, which pleaded guilty to the charge, was fined $60,000.

The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, which will go to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.