Blog Post #279 – Loch Lomond Ski Area Fined $70,000 after Worker Killed, Another Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Loch Lomond Ski Area Limited, operator of a Thunder Bay ski hill, was fined $70,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after one worker was killed and another was injured.

On September 2, 2009, two workers were replacing shingles on the roof of a ski chalet. The metal ladder they used to access the roof came into contact with a live overhead electrical conductor. One of the workers was fatally electrocuted and the other was seriously injured.

Loch Lomond Ski Area Limited pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the workers did not use a metal ladder while working in proximity to a live overhead electrical conductor.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Michels. 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:

Loch Lomond Ski Area Limited was found guilty of a contravention of  section 43 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“Tools and other equipment that are capable of conducting electricity and endangering the safety of any worker shall not be used in such proximity to any live electrical installation or equipment that they might make electrical contact with the live conductor.”

Here we find another employer not understanding electricity and the hazards associated with electricity. There are not many ‘Electricians’ that work with metal ladders any longer and this roofing company, knowing that their people could very well come in to contact with overhead wires, needed to understand the regulations and change their way of thinking and doing business by considering an alternative ladder, one that does not conduct electricity just in case of inadvertent contact.

It may be too late for the workers of this company but other employers should revisit an inspection and possible purchase of non-conducting ladders after reading this article.

I was also surprised that the fines were as low as they were. There was no need for the employees to be injured and/or die if the possible hazards were discussed prior to any work being done and controls put in place to deal with the hazards.

Safety HAS to be the overriding priority!

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 ‘Electrical Safety Awareness’, ‘Lockout and Tagout’ and ‘Construction Safety Awareness’. 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 – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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