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Company fined after workers suffer burns

DCN News Services
Company fined after workers suffer burns

LONDON, ONT. — An electrical utility contractor pleaded guilty and has been fined $70,000 after two workers received electrical burns.

Chatham, Ont.-based Entegrus Powerlines Inc. was fined in a London court by Justice of the Peace Anna Hampson on Aug. 31.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable safety precaution of ensuring that a dedicated observer, who was competent in the task being performed, was in place with no other duties but to monitor the work continuously.

On Aug. 11, 2016, a six-person crew was changing a switch on a utility pole on Head Street North in Strathroy.

The final steps for installing the new switch involved forming thick copper leads that would attach the switch to live 16,000-kV power lines, states a bulletin issued by the Ministry of Labour (MOL).

The safety cover on the lines was removed during this time and not reinstalled. According to the bulletin, none of the crew members were assigned to act as a dedicated observer.

While workers were forming the fifth of the six leads needed to install the switch, the end of the lead made contact with the live power line. An energy surge went through the lead, switch and utility pole.

Two of the workers were in contact with the pole at the time and suffered electrical burns.

The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act.

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