Worker injured in an arc flash that produced ‘a large ball of fire’
On May 28, 2013, a worker was cleaning a circuit breaker compartment with a conductive tool during the construction of the South West Detention Centre (SWDC), a provincially-operated jail facility, in Windsor, Ont. The worker made contact with live electricity and was injured in an arc flash that produced a large ball of fire. Another worker used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. The injured worker required hospitalization.
Bondfield Construction, J.M.R. Electric and Toromont Industries were convicted for violations of Ontario Regulation 213/91, the Construction Projects Regulation, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, section 23(1)(a), as it applies to electrical hazards in construction projects.
All three companies were convicted under section 190(4) of the regulation, which states that "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."
All three companies were convicted under section 184(1) of the regulation, which states that "no person, other than a person authorized to do so by the supervisor in charge of the project, shall enter or be permitted to enter a room or other enclosure containing exposed energized electrical parts."
Toromont was convicted under section 187 of the regulation, which states that "tools, ladders, scaffolding and other equipment or materials capable of conducting electricity shall not be stored or used so close to energized electrical equipment, installations or conductors that they can make electrical contact."
Bondfield Construction, the contractor in charge of the project, was convicted on two counts and fined $175,000. J.M.R. Electric, who was contracted by Bondfield to perform electrical installations at the project, was convicted on two counts and fined $75,000. Toromont Industries, the employer of the electrical worker, was convicted on three counts and fined $210,000.
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.
Justice of the Peace Maureen Ryan-Brode released sentencing on Oct. 27, 2017.
Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour