City of Brampton slapped with $75,000 fine

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has released a statement stating that the City of Brampton has been fined $75,000 in connection with a Occupational Health and Safety Act violation involving a winter tubing operation in 2009.

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, according to a statement released by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

In the winter of 2009, the city operated a snow tubing hill for public use in Chinguacousy Park. The tube hill had a tow line similar to a ski tow, where patrons were taken up the hill on their tubes by a motorized tow line. There was an escape lane beside the tow line that was groomed with a berm, or barrier of snow, so tubes that detached from the tow line would slide down the escape lane, away from the tow line and other patrons.

On February 20, 2009, city workers were preparing the tube hill for use by the public. Everyday, 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 the 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 pled 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.