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Lafarge Canada Inc. Fined $115,000 After Contract Worker Suffers Electrical Shock

Court Bulletin

Lafarge Canada Inc. Fined $115,000 After Contract Worker Suffers Electrical Shock

Ministry of Labour

Convicted: Lafarge Canada Inc., 6509 Airport Road, Mississauga, Ontario

Location: Lafarge cement plant, 6501 Highway 33, Bath, Ontario

 Description of Offence: A contract worker received an electrical shock after coming into direct contact with 47,500 volts of electricity. The power supply to the device was not disconnected, locked out of service and tagged before any work was done, contrary to Ontario Regulation 851/90 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

 Date of Offence: March 2, 2016

 Date of Conviction: October 12, 2017, by Justice of the Peace Donna I. Doelman in Provincial Offences Court/Ontario Court of Justice, 97 Thomas Street East, Napanee, Ontario; Crown Counsel Jai Dhar

 Penalty Imposed

  • Lafarge Canada Inc. was fined $115,000 after pleading guilty to the offence of failing as an employer to ensure that the power supply to an electrical installation, equipment or conductors was disconnected, locked out of service and tagged before any work was done and while being done on or near live exposed parts of the installations, equipment or conductors. This is an offence contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the OHSA.
  • The court also 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.

 Background

  •  Lafarge Canada Inc. hires contract workers every year as part of an extensive preventative maintenance activity to manually clean electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) at its Bath plant. The ESPs are divided into two sections, North and South, and the power supply to them is normally disconnected and locked out of service in order to protect the contract workers from electric shock.
  • A worker was assigned to clean insulators in the North ESP section and the power supply to the North ESPs had been de-energized, locked out of service and tagged; however, the power supply to the South ESP section had not.
  • To clean an insulator, the worker opened an access panel to a section of the ESP that happened to energize both the North and South sides. The worker received an electrical shock and fell to the ground. The worker was able to speak to other workers, was taken to hospital for treatment and released.

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