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Toronto firm fined after employee suffers shock at Sault worksite

DCN News Services
Toronto firm fined after employee suffers shock at Sault worksite

TORONTO — A Toronto firm was fined after a worker was shocked while changing a lighting ballast in a Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. office building.

CBRE Limited was convicted of two offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) on April 13 for its role in an incident that occurred March 31, 2015, said a recent Ministry of Labour statement.

The mishap happened at Roberta Bondar Place on Foster Drive in Sault Ste. Marie. Two mobile maintenance technicians employed by CBRE were tasked with changing a lighting ballast in the cafeteria at the facility.

After receiving the work order, the technicians went to the electrical room to lock out power to the electrical equipment in the area, the release explained.

Believing they had successfully locked out the power, the technicians left the electrical room and went to the cafeteria to change the ballast, the ministry states.

Once at the cafeteria, one of the technicians climbed up a ladder to get to the ballast, which was located in the ceiling. While attempting to change the ballast, the technician received an electrical shock.

The worker climbed down, was brought to the Sault Area Hospital and was treated for critical injuries.

The statement said it was determined the incident constituted an offence under OHSA section 25(2)(a), which requires that an employer provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.

The incident also constituted an offence under OHSA section 25(1)(c), which provides that an employer shall ensure that the prescribed measures and procedures are complied with. Section 42(1) of the Ontario Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments) prescribes that the power supply to electrical installations, equipment or conductors shall be disconnected, locked out of service and tagged before any work is done, and while it is being done, on or near live exposed parts of the installations, equipment or conductors.

Following a trial, CBRE was fined a total of $80,000 on two counts.

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