Blog Post #582 – Evans Lumber and Builders Supply Limited Fined $85,000

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Evans Lumber and Builders Supply Limited, a Sudbury wood and lumber store, was fined $85,000 for two violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was fatally injured.

On September 30, 2009, a worker arrived in a delivery truck at 2091 Madison Avenue in Sudbury. The worker used a boom crane operated by remote control to unload the truck. During the course of unloading, the boom came in contact with an overhead power line. The worker was fatally electrocuted.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that there was no signaler to assist the worker.

Evans Lumber and Builders Supply Limited was convicted of failing to ensure that no object was brought within the specified safe distance from an overhead electrical conductor, and that a competent worker designated as a signaler was in place to warn the operator if an object came within that specified distance. The company was fined $40,000 on the first count and $45,000 on the second count.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Monique Seguin. 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:

Evans Lumber and Builders Supply Ltd., was found guilty of a contravention of section 188.2 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“No object shall be brought closer to an energized overhead electrical conductor with a nominal phase-to-phase voltage rating set out in Column 1 of the Table to this subsection than the distance specified opposite to it in Column 2.

Nominal phase-to-phase voltage rating

750 or more volts, but no more than 150,000 volts – 3 metres
more than 150,000 volts, but no more than 250,000 volts – 4.5 metres
more than 250,000 volts – 6 metres

Evans Lumber and Builders Supply Ltd., was also found guilty of a contravention of section 188.8 of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“A competent worker, designated as a signaler, shall be stationed so that he or she is in full view of the operator and has a clear view of the electrical conductor and of the vehicle or equipment, and shall warn the operator each time any part of the vehicle or equipment or its load may approach the minimum distance.”

Where were the written safe procedures for this particular operation? Where was the supervisor’s tail-gate meeting prior to the operation? Section 27 of the OHSA subsection 1(a) was also violated. That particular section states:

“A supervisor shall ensure that a worker,

(a) Works in the manner with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this ACT and the regulations.”

If the supervisor did not understand his/her responsibilities in this matter then section 25 of the OHSA, subsection 2(c) which states,

“The employer shall,

2 (c) appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person.”

I believe this particular employer was destined for more than $85,000 fine. I do hope they have learned from this grievous mistake. It is my sincere wish other employers learn from Evans Lumber and Builders Supply Ltd. mistake and read the OHSA and the appropriate regulations prior to initiating any work.

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’ 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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