Blog Post #306 – City of Brampton Fined $75,000 after Young Worker Injured

Blog Post #306 – City of Brampton Fined $75,000 after Young Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

The Corporation of the City of Brampton was fined $75,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a young worker was injured.

On February 20, 2009, City workers were preparing the tube hill for use by the public. Every day, before opening the hill to patrons, workers tested the speed of the hill. To test the speed of the escape lane, a young worker sat in a tube and slid down the lane. The tube slid in the wrong direction, went over the berm, and collided with the tow line lifting device. The worker suffered broken bones, a punctured lung, spinal fracture and a concussion.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that City failed to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that the berm was adequate for the protection of the worker.

The Corporation of the City of Brampton pleaded guilty to failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Barnes. 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:

The Corporation of the City of Brampton was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 2(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“The employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

Here we go again. Section 25 of the OHSA, subsection 2(h) was used to cover a blanket issue. They could not find a section of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851 which would cover this issue so the stop-gap piece of the OHSA was used. If the reader is keeping up this particular passage has been used numerous times.

I hope the worker will be properly compensated.

By the way, the standard question is “Does the 25% surcharge go to the accident victim,” and my answer to that is NO. (could be but not enforced to be) A central fund was created so that monies can be distributed as the government sees fit to better serve the entire community. As I understand it, only the province of New Brunswick directs the monies to the victims. (or at least they used to)

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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



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