WHITBY, ONT. — Ontario paver Coco Paving has been fined for its responsibility in a 2018 incident in Port Perry, Ont. in which an excavator came into contact with energized wires while its boom was lifted.
The firm, based in Toronto, was working on a job between Old Rail Line and Carlan Drive in Port Perry.
It was retained by the Regional Municipality of Durham to supply and install a sanitary forcemain, which is an underground waste pipe used to move waste to a sewage plant.
A Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development report recounts that on Feb. 8 of last year, a worker employed by Coco Paving was in the process of retrieving material with an excavator.
A co-worker was connecting a section of forcemain to the excavator so that it could be moved.
After the material was connected, the excavator operator raised the boom of the excavator, causing the excavator to come into contact with overhead energized conductors. No one was injured as a result of the incident.
On the day before the incident, the employer assigned a spotter to assist when the overhead energized conductors were a hazard. But the next day, no-one was assigned to the task.
Section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.
It was found by a justice of the peace in Whitby provincial offences court that on the day in question, Coco Paving failed as an employer to provide information to a worker regarding who was assigned to act as a signaler for an excavator, contrary to the act.
Following a guilty plea, Coco Paving was fined $50,000 on Nov. 6.
The ministry reports the company has three prior health and safety convictions, two of them fatalities; one of the convictions is currently under appeal.