Blog Post #1057 – Lafarge Canada Inc. Fined $115,000 After Contract Worker Suffers Electrical Shock

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A contract worker received an electrical shock after coming into direct contact with 47,500 volts of electricity. The power supply to the device was not disconnected, locked out of service and tagged before any work was done, contrary to Ontario Regulation 851/90 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

Lafarge Canada Inc. hires contract workers every year as part of an extensive preventative maintenance activity to manually clean electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) at its Bath plant. The ESPs are divided into two sections, North and South, and the power supply to them is normally disconnected and locked out of service in order to protect the contract workers from electric shock.

A worker was assigned to clean insulators in the North ESP section and the power supply to the North ESPs had been de-energized, locked out of service and tagged; however, the power supply to the South ESP section had not.

To clean an insulator, the worker opened an access panel to a section of the ESP that happened to energize both the North and South sides. The worker received an electrical shock and fell to the ground. The worker was able to speak to other workers, was taken to hospital for treatment and released.

Lafarge Canada Inc. was fined $115,000 after pleading guilty to the offence of failing as an employer to ensure that the power supply to an electrical installation, equipment or conductors was disconnected, locked out of service and tagged before any work was done and while being done on or near live exposed parts of the installations, equipment or conductors. This is an offence contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the OHSA.

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

Lafarge Canada Inc. would have been found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 42, subsections (1) and (2) 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.”

This was a direct contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

This is not the first dance by Lafarge Canada. There have been quite a few, some in the $300,000 fine range.

Too bad they do not hire decent safety professionals to keep them out of trouble. It would certainly be appreciated by their workforce.

Yes, very appreciated!

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 

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.




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