Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
ThyssenKrupp Industrial Services Canada Inc. has been convicted of hiring an unlicensed individual to do electrical work, in contravention of the Electrical Safety Act, after a worker suffered arc flash injuries while removing conductors from an electrical panel.
The company was fined $70,000 including a donation of $50,000 to the Electrical Safety Authority for electrical safety education, a statement from the authority noted on July 24, 2012. The company and a supervisor were also charged by the provincial labour ministry when an investigation found the electrical panel was not disconnected, locked and tagged out before the work started, resulting in an additional fine of $171,000.
“Companies and supervisors have a direct responsibility for those they hire to do electrical work and how the work is being done,” Doug Crawford, chief public safety officer with the Electrical Safety Authority in Mississauga said in a statement.
Crawford notes that this type of incident is typical of occupational electrical in juries in Ontario. “They tend to occur during repairs or maintenance work and involve unsafe procedures – often working live on a panel. Decisions like these can have deadly consequences,” he adds.
The law(s) broken,
ThyssenKrupp Industrial Services Canada Inc., if dealing in an industrial setting, would have been guilty of violating section 42, subsections 1 and 2 of the Ontario ‘Industrial regulation 851/90 which state,
(1) “The power supply to electrical installations, equipment or conductors shall be disconnected, locked out of service and tagged before any work is done, and while it is being done, on or near live exposed parts of the installations, equipment or conductors.
(2) Before beginning the work, each worker shall determine if the requirements of subsection (1) have been complied with.”
The supervisor, in this case, would have been guilty of violating section 27, subsection 1(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act which states,
“A supervisor shall ensure that a worker,
(a) works in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and the regulations.”
Everyone today, to save a buck, cuts corners went completing work. (I guess I should say most people)
It is totally unbelievable a company as well-known as ThyssenKrupp would ever circumvent legislation and put their workers at risk. All it would have taken is a company directive dealing with all best (safe) practices, training to go with the directives, and adherence to those directives may have saved this employee from the possible life altering effects of an arc flash.
Please ensure that your workplace is a safe place. All it takes is ‘Due Diligence’ and strict adherence to the Act and the appropriate regulations, and in this case, the ‘Canadian Electrical Code’.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.