Algoma Tubes fined $70K after workers burned by arc flash
By Anthony Capkun
May 1, 2013 – Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MoL) reports Algoma Tubes Inc.—a manufacturer of steel pipe products based in Whitehorse, Yukon—has been fined $70,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health & Safety Act after two workers were injured.
On July 15, 2011, two workers employed as electrical maintenance technicians by Algoma Tubes at a facility located in Sault Ste. Marie were decommissioning an out-of-service motor control centre. A de-energized control cable that one of the workers was removing came into contact with a 480V energized panel. The resulting arc flash caused one of the workers to sustain burns to one hand and the other worker to suffer burns to the hand, forearm and face.
MoL investigated the incident and found that Algoma Tubes failed as an employer to ensure the workers used rubber gloves, mats, shields or other protective equipment and procedures adequate to ensure protection from electrical shock and burns while performing the work.
The company pleaded guilty. In addition to the $70,000 fine, the court imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge, which is credited to a provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.