Blog Post #676 – Linamar Corporation Pleads Guilty, Fined $100,000 After Worker Suffers Burns

Blog Post #676 – Linamar Corporation Pleads Guilty, Fined $100,000 After Worker Suffers Burns

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Linamar Corporation, operating as Vehcom Manufacturing, has pleaded guilty and received a fine of $100,000 after a worker was burned via an exposed power terminal.

On June 29, 2012, the worker, along with another worker and a supervisor, were at a Linamar manufacturing facility located at 74 Campbell Road, Guelph. The workers were replacing a set of cooling fans in a capacitor panel at the workplace. A portion of the capacitor panel was locked, disabling one energy source to the panel.

The worker was left alone at the panel when the supervisor and other worker left. The worker was removing the second of two cooling fans when it fell, making contact with an exposed power terminal. An electrical fault initiated an arc flash and the flash caused significant burns to the worker’s body.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the exposed power terminal had remained live, and that the worker had not been provided with appropriate protective equipment.

Linamar Corporation pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that measures and procedures were undertaken as prescribed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The regulation states that if work is being done on live electrical equipment, the employer shall ensure that a worker uses rubber gloves, mats, shields and other protective equipment and procedures adequate to ensure protection from electrical shock and burns while performing the work.

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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Linamar Corporation was also found guilty of violating section 42.1 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“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.”

Linamar Corporation was also found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the OHSA which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

It is silly to charge a company with 42.1 only. Section 42.2 states,

“Before beginning the work, each worker shall determine if the requirements of subsection (1) have been complied with.”

Section 42.1 discusses lockout and tagout and section 42.2 refers to the verification of 42.1. It only makes sense. The verification process is a vital part of any lockout procedure. It is too late after the fact.

Ensure your company or organization has a healthy lockout and tagout procedure and that it is fully supervised and monitored. It is always after a terrible electrical accident that questions about the procedure come to light and usually the supervisor has not played his or her part.

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’, Electrical Safety Awareness’, ‘Lockout and Tagout’ 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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