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Ottawa employer fined after worker shocked, falls

DCN News Service
Ottawa employer fined after worker shocked, falls

OTTAWA — An owner-operator of residential and commercial buildings pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after a worker received an electrical shock and was injured falling off a ladder while replacing part of a light fixture.

On July 21, 2015 an employee of Ottawa-based Bona Building and Management Limited was working at a Bona commercial office building, indicates a Ministry of Labour media statement.

Among the worker’s building maintenance duties was replacing parts of light fixtures.

On that day the worker was changing a "ballast" light fixture on the ceiling of one of the building’s public hallways.

The task required the worker to climb a five-foot ladder in order to remove the existing ceiling ballast and insert a new one.

On this occasion, and contrary to Bona’s own policy, the energy source of the light fixture in question was not shut off, locked out or tagged.

The worker suffered an electric shock and fell from the ladder. As a result of the fall, the worker suffered fractures.

Ontario Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation) stipulates that electrical equipment be de-energized and locked out when being serviced.

The Ministry of Labour investigated this incident and determined that Bona failed in its duty as an employer to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were carried out in the workplace.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the power supply to an electrical installation was disconnected and locked out before work was done, and was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Serge Legault in Ottawa court on Dec. 21, 2016.

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.

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