Linamar fined 100K after arc flash burns worker
By Anthony Capkun
(UPDATED April 23, 2014, spelling correction… Thanks Ian!) April 17, 2014 – Diversified global manufacturing company Linamar Corp. dba Vehcom Manufacturing pleaded guilty and received a fine of $100,000 after a worker was burned via an exposed power terminal.
In June 2012, the worker—along with another worker and a supervisor—were at a Linamar manufacturing facility located in Guelph, Ont. The workers were replacing a set of cooling fans in a capacitor panel at the workplace. A portion of the panel was locked, disabling one energy source to the panel.
The worker was left alone at the panel. He proceeded to remove the second of two cooling fans; the fan fell and made contact with an exposed power terminal. An electrical fault initiated an arc flash, and the flash caused significant burns to the worker’s body.
An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation determined the exposed power terminal had remained live, and that the worker had not been provided with appropriate protective equipment.
Linamar pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that measures and procedures were undertaken as prescribed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The regulation states that when work is being done on live electrical equipment, the employer shall ensure that a worker uses rubber gloves, mats, shields and other protective equipment and procedures adequate to ensure protection from electrical shock and burns while performing the work.
In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge, which is credited to a provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.