Thunder Bay, Ont. – Hydro One Networks Inc. was fined $175,000 on September 11, 2009, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was seriously injured.
On September 30, 2008, an electrical crew was working on a new addition to the Red Lake transformer station. One crew member was in an uninsulated lift near a beam supporting a live electrical bus. There was an arc flash from the bus, setting the worker’s clothes and upper body on fire. The other crew members tried to lower the lift, but they could not activate the manual backup controls. The worker came out of the lift basket, was suspended in the air by fall-arrest equipment, and fell about five meters when the equipment burnt off. The worker suffered severe burns.
Hydro One Networks Inc. pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing to ensure that electrical work performed on or near electrical transmission or distribution systems was performed in accordance with Rule 112 of the Electrical Utility Safety Rules, published by the Electrical and Utilities Safety Association of Ontario. This rule requires employers to establish written procedures for rescue operations. It also requires workers to learn and practise the rescue procedures.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Ray Zuliani. 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.