Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Traugott Building Contractors Inc. a Cambridge-based company, was fined $80,000 on September 7, 2010, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused an injury to a worker.

On May 26, 2008, a worker employed by Nelco Mechanical Limited, a sub-contractor hired to do mechanical and electrical work at a Wal-Mart expansion project located in Scarborough, was attempting to remove a HVAC unit. The worker cut an electrical supply cable believing it was de-energized and received an electrical shock.

Traugott Building Contractors Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the power supply to electrical equipment was disconnected, locked out of service and tagged before work began.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Anthony Walton. 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:

Traugott Building Contractors Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 190(4) of the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 which states,

“Subject to subsection (9), 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 is a course that all HVAC, electricians, millwrights and other trades that has been made mandatory. It is also incumbent on the employers to ensure that the workers use the training and comply with all regulatory concerns.

Here we find a scenario that happens far too often. An assumption has been made and a worker was injured. Thank God he was not killed. He/she was very fortunate. The employer could have been charged with section 25, subsection 1(c), which states,

“The employer shall ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

The employer needs to seek out the appropriate regulations and sections of the OHSA before any work is done and while any work is done.

Again, please read the green book and find the section of the legislation appropriate to your needs. Only then will your work force be safe and the MOL will not have to visit and assign any blame and penalties.

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 info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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