Court Bulletin - Fer-Pal Construction Ltd. fined $90,000 after worker seriously injured

    BURLINGTON, ON, May 13 /CNW/ - Fer-Pal Construction Ltd., a Toronto
company that does water main construction, was fined $90,000 on May 12, 2009,
for violations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), after a
worker was injured.
    On June 19, 2008, Fer-Pal Construction was working on White Pines Drive
in Burlington on a project to reline the water main in the area. A worker was
working in an excavation pit where a 30.5 centimetre (12 inch) water main pipe
had been capped with a coupling device fitted with a fabricated steel plate.
The water main was supposed to be shut off, but a leaky gate valve allowed air
and water to accumulate behind the cap and coupling device. The coupling
device exploded off the water main and struck the worker in the head, causing
serious injury even though he was wearing a hard hat.
    A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the coupling device
was not designed to be used as a cap, or designed to withstand the water/air
pressure built up behind the cap. The investigation also found that Fer-Pal
Construction did not have a supervisor or other competent person to act on
their behalf, on site, at the time of the workplace injury.
    Fer-Pal Construction Ltd. pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing, as an
employer, to ensure there was a supervisor to supervise the work at all times.
Fer-Pal was fined $10,000 on this count. They also pleaded guilty under the
OHSA to failing to ensure that equipment was used in accordance with any
operating manuals issued by the manufacturer. The company was fined $80,000 on
this count.
    The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace L. Mills. In addition to
the fines, the court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the
total, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited
to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.


                        Court Information at a Glance

        Location:            Ontario Court of Justice
                             Courtroom T1
                             2021 Plains Rd. E.
                             Burlington, Ontario

        Judge:               Justice of the Peace Lena Mills

        Date of Conviction:  May 12, 2009

        Defendants:          Fer-Pal Construction Ltd

        Matter:              Occupational Health and Safety

        Conviction(s):       R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 213/91, s. 12(2)
                             OHSA section 25(1)(c)
                             R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 213/91, s. 93(3)
                             OHSA section 25(1)(c)

        Crown Counsel:       Brian A. Blumenthal


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For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Rob Ashley, Ministry of Labour,
(416) 326-0925

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Ontario Ministry of Labour

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