Blog Post #282 – ThyssenKrupp and Supervisor Fined $171,000 Total after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

ThyssenKrupp Industrial Services Canada Inc., carrying on business as ThyssenKrupp Hearn Division, a provider of warehousing, packaging and transportation services, was fined $160,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured. Don Hearn Jr., a supervisor, was fined $11,000 in relation to the same incident.

On February 25, 2009, a worker was doing electrical upgrades at the company’s warehouse on Sprucewood Ave. in Windsor. As the worker was removing conductors from an electrical panel, a bare conductor touched the side of the electrical panel, causing an arc flash. The worker sustained serious electrical burns.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the electrical panel was not disconnected from the power source, locked out or tagged before the work started.

ThyssenKrupp Industrial Services Canada Inc., carrying on business as ThyssenKrupp Hearn Division, was found guilty of failing to ensure that the electrical panel was disconnected, locked out and tagged prior to work being done on it. Don Hearn Jr. was found guilty of the same.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Gay. In addition to the fines, 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:

ThyssenKrupp Industrial Services Canada Inc. was found guilty of violating section 190 (4) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“The power supply to the electrical equipment, installation or conductor shall be disconnected, lockout out of service and tagged before the work begins, and kept disconnected, lockout out of service and tagged while the work continues.”

The supervisor, Don Hearn Jr. Was found guilty violating the same section of the ‘Construction’ regulation.

‘Lockout and Tagout’ is a standard of control when workers deal with possible energized equipment. There are many hazards in and around equipment and the inadvertent start up of the equipment can maim or kill the worker.

The goal of lockout and tagout:

  • The goal of lockout/tagout procedures is to stop energy from accidentally being released while machines and equipment are being maintained, serviced or repaired;
  • Locks and tags help to prevent equipment, machinery or materials from accidentally starting up. Lockout/tagout ensures that everything remains temporarily off;
  • To establish minimum performance requirements for controlling hazardous energy; and
  • All lockout/tagout procedures must comply with current CSA standards.

Some of the misconceptions of lockout and tagout are:

  • It only involves electricity;
  • It involves only maintenance personnel;
  • It involves only having the guarding in place; and
  • It involves only to ensure that power has been turned off.

Seven steps of effective and safe lockout/tagout procedures:

  • Preparation;
  • Communications;
  • Shut down;
  • Isolation;
  • Application;
  • Control; and
  • Verification.

In closing, it is important your company has an adequate lockout and tagout program. Training is the key so check your local training company for more details. If your company is near the GTA, please give our company, HRS Group Inc., a call at (705) 749-1259. Our trainers can work around your schedule and our materials adhere to the highest standards.

If you can wait a little longer, our company’s on-line course begins by the end of September.

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’ and ‘Lockout and Tagout’. 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.