Lack of lockout results in electrocution and $300,000 safety fine
Toronto, ON -- SNC-Lavalin Power Ontario Inc. was fined $300,000 on July 7, 2009, for a violation under the Occupat...
Toronto, ON — SNC-Lavalin Power Ontario Inc. was fined $300,000 on July 7, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was killed.
On October 3, 2007, the company was building an electrical plant in Toronto, and it had subcontracted another firm to provide carpentry, electrical and plumbing services. An apprentice electrician employed by the subcontractor was working with two journeyman electricians to install temporary lighting when the apprentice removed the inside cover panel of a live 600-volt transformer and contacted the taps within. The apprentice was electrocuted.
An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation found that the electrical panel was not tagged or locked out. Inspectors also found that the company and subcontractor both had lockout policies in place and SNC-Lavalin had conducted an orientation for subcontractors. However, records did not show the electrical crew had been given detailed training or a copy of either company’s policy. The SNC-Lavalin site-specific policy was also not fully implemented at the time of the incident.
SNC-Lavalin Power Ontario Inc. pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing, as a constructor, to ensure that its subcontractor implemented a tag out and/or lockout procedure to ensure workers were protected from shocks and burns.
The fine was imposed by Justice Robert Bigelow. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge on the total, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.