Blog Post #1079 – Bruce Power Fined $110,000 After Worker Injury at Lake Huron Plant

Blog Post #1079 – Bruce Power Fined $110,000 After Worker Injury at Lake Huron Plant

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

At the Bruce “B” Nuclear Generating Station power plant on Lake Huron, near Tiverton, Ontario, a worker suffered critical injuries while performing maintenance on a generator at the power plant on February 1, 2016.

A hole was being drilled in the plant’s No. 8 Generator in order to remove a bore plug on a rotor undergoing maintenance.

As workers were drilling the first hole, flames emanated from the drilled hole and injured a worker.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the flames resulted from the release of hydrogen from pressurized containment inside the rotor core.

The generator uses hydrogen gas as a cooling medium and a mixture of hydrogen and air was created as the compressed hydrogen escaped through the freshly-drilled hole. The mixture of hydrogen and air was within the flammable range for hydrogen and came into contact with multiple ignition sources capable of igniting the mixture, such as the motor of the drill or a work light. This resulted in the flames that emanated from the drilled hole.

GE, the manufacturer of the generator, had prepared and made available a technical information letter which discussed the potential hazards associated with trapped hydrogen gas.

It had recommended that the rotor core be tested and purged of hydrogen, not pressurized before plug removal, and the removal of potential sources of ignition.

This information was not known to the team involved in the work, including the injured worker, and its recommended method was not followed.

On December 06, 2017, the company was fined $110,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson in Owen Sound court; Crown Counsel Daniel Kleiman.

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:

Bruce Power was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA) section 25, subsection 2(d) which states,

“An employer shall,

(d) acquaint a worker or a person in authority over a worker with any hazard in the work and in the handling, storage, use, disposal and transport of any article, device, equipment or a biological, chemical or physical agent.”

Section 25, subsections 2(a) and 2(h) were also in contravention but not chosen to be identified.

Section 25, subsection 2(a) states,

“An employer shall,

  • provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

Section 25, subsection 2(h) states,

“An employer shall,

“Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

I do hope that Bruce Power has a set of written instructions for all their employees when completing maintenance on a generator. All hazards MUST be identified, assessed and controlled. If not, then we can see this type of incident/accident happen again.

The supervisor(s) must also sit in on any training.

Section 25, subsection 2(c) states,

“An employer shall,

“When appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.”

As it is being shown here, all roads lead to the employer following safe work practices. Even one as big as Bruce Power.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. 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”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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

 

 

Dan
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