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Kitchener Electrical Company, Supervisor Fined Total of $60,000 After Workers Suffered Burns

Court Bulletin

Kitchener Electrical Company, Supervisor Fined Total of $60,000 After Workers Suffered Burns

Ministry of Labour

Convicted: O'Connor Electric Ltd, 9 Centennial Drive, Suite #2, Ontario, a provider of electrical services on construction projects; Mike Walker, work crew supervisor. 

Location: Electrical room #9, White Oaks Mall, 1105 Wellington Road, London, Ontario.

Description of Offence: Three workers received burns from an arc flash while working on an energized electrical system.

Date of Offence: January 11, 2018.

Date of Conviction: June 10, 2019.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following guilty pleas, Justice of the Peace Sonia Aleong fined O'Connor Electric Ltd. $55,000 and Mike Walker $5,000 in London provincial court. Crown Counsel: Judy L. Chan.
  • 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:

  • On January 11, 2018, a six-person crew, including supervisor Mike Walker, were working in electrical room #9 to upgrade the electrical services. The upgrade was to shut down the existing service, install a new switch (disconnect) and new electrical wiring.
  • Three workers prepared the service to receive the disconnect.
  • While workers installed the disconnect, an arc flash occurred, which meant the system was in fact energized.
  • Three workers received electrical burns.
  • O'Connor Electric Ltd. failed as an employer to establish and implement written measures and procedures as prescribed in Section 190(2)(a) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 (for Construction Projects).
  • Section 190(2)(a) of the regulation provides that an employer shall establish and implement written measures and procedures to ensure that workers are adequately protected from electrical shock and burn.
  • Supervisor Mike Walker failed as an supervisor to ensure workers had followed Section 190(4) of the Regulation for Construction Projects.
  • Section 190(4) requires "the power supply to the electrical equipment, installation or conductor shall be disconnected, locked out of service and tagged ... before the work begins, and kept disconnected, locked out of service and tagged while the work continues."

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