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Health and safety review underway at Fiera Foods after worker death

Five deaths have occurred at industrial bakery since 1999


Fiera Foods is located in North York, Ont. (Google Street View)

The Sept. 25 death of a Fiera Foods worker has sparked a comprehensive review into the health and safety culture and practices at the industrial bakery in North York, Ont.

Temporary worker Enrico Miranda died after a machine he was cleaning crushed him — the fifth worker to die at Fiera and its affiliate companies since 1999, according to the Toronto Star.

On Oct. 4, Fiera announced it has appointed lawyer David Young, a former attorney general in Ontario, to lead the review. In the weeks and months ahead, Young will comb over operations with a focus on identifying areas of vulnerability and potential improvements, according to a news release.

The company is “heartbroken” by the latest turn of events, said Boris Serebryany, president and CEO of Fiera Foods.

“As an employer, the well-being of every member of the team is a constant concern,” he said. “We have always worked to create healthy, safe jobsites and always train and support all employees to the same high standard — whether they be temporary or permanent.”

“We know there is more we must do and have asked Mr. Young and his team to bring a new perspective and fresh thinking to this very important matter.”

Founded in 1987, Fiera Foods specializes in bagels, pastries, croissants and artisan breads and rolls.

Young wants to ensure another fatality never occurs at Fiera Foods, he said.

“My mandate is clear — put a safety lens on every operational element of the company and report back with recommendations that can help ensure a culture of safety exists throughout.”

On Oct. 8, the Ontario Federation of Labour issued an open letter to Premier Doug Ford, urging the implementation of Section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act — a clause that would make companies using temp agencies financially responsible for workplace deaths and injuries.