Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Three workers received burns from an arc flash while working on an energized electrical system.
On January 11, 2018, a six-person crew, including supervisor Mike Walker, were working in electrical room #9 to upgrade the electrical services. The upgrade was to shut down the existing service, install a new switch (disconnect) and new electrical wiring.
Three workers prepared the service to receive the disconnect. While workers installed the disconnect, an arc flash occurred, which meant the system was in fact energized. Three workers received electrical burns.
O’Connor Electric Ltd. failed as an employer to establish and implement written measures and procedures as prescribed in Section 190(2)(a) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 (for Construction Projects).
Supervisor Mike Walker failed as a supervisor to ensure workers had followed Section 190(4) of the Regulation for Construction Projects.
Following guilty pleas, Justice of the Peace Sonia Aleong fined O’Connor Electric Ltd. $55,000 and Mike Walker $5,000 in London provincial court. Crown Counsel: Judy L. Chan.
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.
The law(s) in contravention:
O’Connor Electric Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction’ sector regulation 213/91, section 190, subsection 2(a) which states,
“An employer shall,
- establish and implement written measures and procedures for complying with this section to ensure that workers are adequately protected from electrical shock and burn.”
Supervisor Mike Walker was found guilty of a contravention of the same regulation, section 190, subsection (4) which states,
“The power supply to the electrical equipment, installation or conductor shall be disconnected, locked out of service and tagged in accordance with subsection (6) before the work begins, and kept disconnected, locked out of service and tagged while the work continues.”
Lockout and tagout are very important courses in today’s workplace and MUST be adhered to by all or workers are going to be hurt or will die.
It is just that simple!
I also feel that section 27, subsection 1(a) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) could have been used against Mike Walker. It 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.”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Lockout and Tagout’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
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.