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Digsafe fined $125K because worker killed by energized powerline

November 15, 2013 | By Anthony Capkun

November 14, 2013 – Digsafe Inc., an Ottawa, Ont., company that provides excavation services, has been fined $125,000 for a violation of Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act after a worker was killed and two others injured while working near powerlines.

On March 22, 2012, a Digsafe worker and two other workers employed by another subcontractor were working together on the installation of new hydro poles and wires under existing energized lines on Moodie Drive in Ottawa.

The three workers were excavating a hole when the boom of the vehicle came within 3 m of the powerlines, which were located about 20 ft above the hole. All three workers received electrical shocks, with the Digsafe worker succumbing to his injuries in hospital. The two other workers sought medical attention at the hospital and did not suffer permanent physical injuries.

Digsafe pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure the boom of the vehicle was not brought within 3 m of the energized powerline as required by the Occupational Health & Safety Act, and was fined $125,000, plus a 25% victim fine surcharge.


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