$50K fine for OHSA failure

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An Ontario company specializing in pump technology and hydraulic design has been hit with a five-figure fine after failing to take reasonable precautions that could have prevented one employee’s serious injuries.

Clyde Union Canada Limited, a company specializing in pump technology and hydraulic design, pleaded guilty earlier this week and was fined $50,000 after a worker was critically injured by a ruptured water hose.

The employee had been testing a pump at the company's Burlington workplace when one of the 24-inch pipe elbows located outside the building froze, preventing the circulation of water in a rubber hose.

The system then backfilled until it exceeded its maximum pressure and a six-inch rubber hose in the system ruptured, expelling water which struck the worker with enough force to push him approximately 30 feet across the shop floor.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the company failed to take the reasonable precaution of installing a pressure relief valve in the discharge water lines, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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.

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