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Hotel maintenance worker burned during electrical fix, employer fined $70K


Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre in Etobicoke, Ont., was fined $70,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On May 1, 2010, a maintenance worker was changing a fuse in a 600-volt electric panel. When the worker attempted to pull out the fuse with metal pliers, there was an explosion. The worker suffered first, second and third degree burns.

Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre pleaded guilty to failing to follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Ontario Regulation 851 section 43, 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.”

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Warren Ralph. 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.