According to research, about 23% of companies lack the necessary policies to execute safety procedures properly. For instance, in food processing, some existing safety policies may not address every requirement under the OHS Act.
In Ontario, workplace health and safety have become a necessity for businesses in food processing, preservation, and manufacturing. But the lack of OHS training is proof enough that this sector needs some improvements.
Regardless of the size and scope of the facility, you can execute a health and food safety program under expert guidance.
Ontario Workplace Health and Safety Administration
To design an effective food safety program, it’s essential you understand your requirements first. All levels of the government (federal, municipal, and provincial) can enforce standards to maximize food quality and safety in Ontario.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency administers regulations for food inspection, animal and plant health, and agricultural inputs. The CFIA is one of the most prominent government bodies in the food processing industry. The agency enforces specific laws to regulate federally registered establishments.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care administers standard protocols to protect public health. The ministry sets aside food preservation policies for premises where food is either processed, packaged, or manufactured. The MOHLTC has the power to condemn food products, lay down penalties, close an establishment, and issue a recall.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food is also responsible for administering provincial statutes. They introduce protocols to reduce safety risks for establishments like dairy processing plants, agricultural farms, and slaughterhouses. The ministry has the power to revoke licenses, detain products, and charge penalties for non-compliance.
The Ministry of Natural Resources is another regulatory body that investigates and prosecutes cases of non-compliance. Any kind of workplace injury or casualty usually triggers a response from this government body. They are also responsible for inspecting fish harvesting facilities, as per the norms listed in the Fish Inspection Act.
Health & Safety Standards in Food Processing
In food processing, it’s essential to prioritize health and safety first. The food manufacturing industry offers a hazardous environment for in-house personnel. From slippery machinery to manual material handling, the risks are endless.
One of the main benefits of a health and safety program is that it demonstrates how serious you are about protecting employees in the workplace. For instance, the need for personal protection equipment has become mandatory for all workstations, regardless of rank. Since employees have to handle toxic chemicals like alcohol rubs, disinfectants, and food agents, they must wear safety masks and gloves.
Secondly, health and safety regulations also help preserve food quality. You can start by training your in-house staff on the following:
- Material handling techniques and tools
- Preservation methods and controls
- Storage requirements for different food grades
Such practices prevent food safety issues like cross-contamination.
Ensure Workplace Health and Safety Compliance
If you’re looking for a reliable health and safety company, get in touch with our experts at S.A.F.E Engineering. Our workplace safety consultants can help mitigate potential risks associated with the food processing industry by creating policies that preserve employee wellbeing.
To check for compliance, schedule a consult.