Blog Post #1070 – Three Companies Fined Total of $460,000

Blog Post #1070 – Three Companies Fined Total of $460,000

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

On May 23, 2013, an accident occurred at 4819 8th Concession Road, Windsor, Ontario, now known as the South West Detention Centre (SWDC), a provincially-operated jail facility.

While the building was under construction, a worker was cleaning a circuit breaker compartment with a conductive tool. The worker made contact with live electricity and was injured in an arc flash that produced a large ball of fire. Another worker used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. The injured worker required hospitalization.

The three defendants in this accident are;

Bondfield Construction Company Limited, 407 Basaltic Road, Concord, Ontario, and the contractor in charge of the project.

J.M.R. Electric Ltd., 137 Thames Road East, Exeter, Ontario, contracted by Bondfield to perform electrical installations at the project.

Toromont Industries Ltd., 3131 Highway 7 West, Concord, Ontario, contracted with J.M.R. Electric for a portion of the electrical work and the employer of the injured worker.

The companies were convicted for violations of Ontario Regulation 213/91, the Construction Projects Regulation, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 23(1)(a), as it applies to electrical hazards in construction projects.

 

All three companies were convicted under section 190(4) of the regulation, which states that “the power supply to the electrical equipment, installation or conductor shall be disconnected, locked out of service and tagged… before the work begins, and kept disconnected, locked out of service and tagged while the work continues.”

All three companies were convicted under section 184(1) of the regulation, which states that “no person, other than a person authorized to do so by the supervisor in charge of the project, shall enter or be permitted to enter a room or other enclosure containing exposed energized electrical parts.”

Toromont was convicted under section 187 of the regulation, which states that “tools, ladders, scaffolding and other equipment or materials capable of conducting electricity shall not be stored or used so close to energized electrical equipment, installations or conductors that they can make electrical contact.”

Bondfield Construction was convicted on two counts and fined $175,000.

J.M.R. Electric was convicted on two counts and fined $75,000.

Toromont Industries was convicted on three counts and fined $210,000.

The court also 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,

All three companies were found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 23, subsection 1(a) which states,

A constructor shall ensure, on a project undertaken by the constructor that,

  • the measures and procedures prescribed by this Act and the regulations are carried out on the project.”

All three companies were found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction Projects’ sector regulation 213/91, section 184, subsection (1) which states,

“No person, other than a person authorized to do so by the supervisor in charge of the project, shall enter or be permitted to enter a room or other enclosure containing exposed energized electrical parts.”

All three companies were found guilty of a contravention of same sector regulation, section 190, subsection (4) which states,

“The power supply to the electrical equipment, installation or conductor shall be disconnected, locked out of service and tagged in accordance with subsection (6) before the work begins, and kept disconnected, locked out of service and tagged while the work continues.”

Finally, Toromont was found guilty of a contravention of 213/91, section 187 which states,

“Tools, ladders, scaffolding and other equipment or materials capable of conducting electricity shall not be stored or used so close to energized electrical equipment, installations or conductors that they can make electrical contact.”

As the reader can see, this looked like a job for “Lockout and Tagout” training. Every sector, be it construction, mining, healthcare or industrial have a section listing the need to lockout a piece of equipment prior to any work to be done. Why did these 3 companies not get the MOL memo? Why did they not have any person on staff that had a safety background? Hmm… too many questions and not enough answers.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. (including lockout and tagout) Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

 

 

 

 

Dan
Share