CBRE Ltd. fined $80,000 for electrical shock to worker

Ellen Cools
July 17, 2018
July 17, 2018 — CBRE Ltd. has been fined a total of $80,000, reports Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, after a worker was shocked by electricity while changing a 347V fluorescent lighting ballast.

On March 31, 2015, two mobile maintenance technicians employed by CBRE Ltd. were tasked with changing a ballast in the cafeteria at Roberta Bondar Place in Sault Ste Marie, Ont. The task had been brought to their attention by CBRE’s work order, which stated that a light was out in the area.

After receiving the work order, the technicians went to the electrical room to lock out power to the electrical equipment in the area. Believing they had successfully locked out the power, the technicians left the electrical room and went to the cafeteria to change the ballast. However, power to the electrical equipment was not locked out.

Once at the cafeteria, one of the technicians climbed a ladder to get to the ballast, located in the ceiling. The technician was attempting to change the ballast and received an electrical shock.

The technician was subsequently brought to Sault Area Hospital and treated for critical injuries.

The incident constituted an offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, section 25(2)(a), which requires that an employer provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker.

It also constituted an offence under section 25(1)(c) of the Act, which states that an employer shall ensure the prescribed measures and procedures are complied with.

Additionally, section 42(1) of the Ontario Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments), prescribes that the power supply to electrical installations, equipment or conductors shall be disconnected, locked out of service and tagged before any work is done, and while it is being done, on or near live exposed parts of the installations, equipment or conductors.

After a trial, CBRE Ltd. was fined a total of $80,000 on two counts. The court also imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act.


+2 #5 Bernie 2018-07-31 18:36
I also agree, should be qualified electrician doing this type of work.
+1 #4 Klaus 2018-07-28 14:50
While I agree with Nedd and Leonard there should also be some blame placed on the workers. When I lock out I always do a check with a meter to make sure, 1- I got the right disconnect for that circuit and secondly to ensure the disconnecting means is working properly ie case and point recall of 30 and 60 amp Eaton disconnect switches.
+1 #3 Ronald Salome 2018-07-28 11:29
Should have been a qualified licensed electrician, and not a technician to work or maintain electrical equipment. Probably (just speculating) they were using an aluminum ladder.
+3 #2 Nedd 2018-07-25 21:41
I agree why are techs changing ballasts in the first place.?
+2 #1 Leonard 2018-07-25 15:35
Why was CBRE not fined under the Colleges and Training Act for not having a Lic. Electrician perform the work in the first place?

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