TORONTO — A worker for Miska Trailer Factory in Hamilton, Ont. was electrocuted and suffered fatal injuries after coming into contact with live powerlines and as a result the company has been fined $150,000.
The company was convicted Dec. 11, 2020 following a guilty plea in an Ontario Court of Justice in Hamilton.
On March 21, 2019, a worker was tasked by a supervisor with modifying some new flags attached to aluminum poles and then mounting the aluminum poles atop stationary flagpoles located along a fence in the factory’s parking lot, explained a court bulletin.
The worker drove a forklift with a scissor lift on its forks to the work area in the parking lot, then got on the scissor lift with an aluminum pole with a flag attached. The worker raised the lift to reach the top of the flagpole. As the aluminum pole was lifted into position, it made contact with the 16,000-volt live overhead powerlines electrocuting the worker. Co-workers lowered the scissor lift and the worker was transported to hospital in critical condition, but succumbed to the injuries.
An investigation of the incident by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development found Miska did not take steps to prevent encroachment by the existing flagpole and new flag installation upon the three-metre minimum distance set from live powerlines, adds the release.
Miska committed the offence of failing, as an employer, to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker, contrary to section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.