St. Catharines, Ont. — The Corporation of the Town of Pelham was fined $60,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a young worker was injured.
On August 25, 2011, summer students working for the Town were repairing the lids of catch basins, which are the parts of storm drains used to collect debris. One worker lifted the lid of a catch basin with a pickaxe so another worker could apply tape to the basin. While the second worker's hand was in the basin, the lid slipped from the pickaxe and crushed that worker's hand.
A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the workers did not have a direct supervisor at the time of the incident and they had not been shown how to do the job. Instead, they received instructions from a manager and were sent to repair the catch basins alone.
The Corporation of the Town of Pelham was fined $60,000 for failing to provide adequate information and instruction to the workers on how to safely repair the catch basins.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Lena Mills. 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.