Blog Post #1088 – Sparks Injure Worker in Nunavut

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) has laid Six charges against Tower Arctic Limited, under the Nunavut Safety Act, in response to an employee injury that occurred last year in the municipality of Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

According to a WSCC media release, the incident occurred on September 19, 2018, when the worker was using a handheld grinder to make cuts into the top of a metal barrel of the company’s shop/graduate worksite. The grinder emitted sparks that ignited chemical residue within the barrel, resulting in an explosion that seriously injured the employee.

On August 28, 2019, the WSCC filed multiple charges against Tower Arctic Limited in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit. The Commission alleged several violations of the Act and the Occupational Health & Safety Regulations.

The employer is accused of failing to do the following: take all reasonable precautions and adopting all reasonable procedures to keep every worker safe and healthy; arrange for the use, handling, storage, and transport of articles and substances in a way that protected worker safety; provide the necessary information, instruction, training and supervision to protect employee health and safety; ensure adequate, competent supervision of work being done; make sure that all of the supervisors had completed and approved regulatory familiarization program; and ensure that the worker had been trained in matters necessary to protect his or her own safety on the job.

Tower Arctic was scheduled to make its first court appearance in the matter on September 9, 2018 in Iqaluit.

“The WSCC reminds all employers that their legislative worksite responsibilities include ensuring all workers and supervisors receive training, instruction and supervision necessary to ensure the safety of workers and the work site,” the Commission states and the release, “and to have and maintain an Occupational Health & Safety program that is current and relevant to the potential hazards at their worksite.”

My opinion

We had a similar incident in the Ottawa area at a school there. Please review.

As well, please read my blog post #621 – Ottawa Catholic District School Board Charged in Blast for further details.

Too bad the far north did not review the previous accident and institute changes in the hot work policies of a business.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Canada, “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 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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


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