ThyssenKrupp Industrial fined $70K for hiring unlicensed electrical contractor
By Anthony Capkun
August 9, 2012 – On July 24, 2012, ThyssenKrupp Industrial Services Canada Inc. was convicted in court of violating Ontario’s Electricity Act by hiring an unlicensed individual to do electrical work. The individual suffered serious arc flash injuries while attempting to remove conductors from an electrical panel. A fine of $70,000 was imposed, which included $50,000 to Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) to be used for electrical safety education.
You may recall, last year ThyssenKrupp and a supervisor were charged by the Ministry of Labour for violating the Occupational Health & Safety Act for the same incident. The company and a supervisor were convicted, and $171,000 in fines levied. Section 3 of Ontario Regulation 570/05 pursuant to Section 113.2 (1) of the Electricity Act R.S.O. 1998 Ch. 15 requires any person operating an electrical contracting business to have an electrical contractor licence.
“Companies and supervisors have a direct responsibility for those they hire to do electrical work and how the work is done,” said Doug Crawford, ESA’s chief public safety officer (in photo). “In this case, an unlicensed individual was hired and unsafe work procedures were used, causing the individual to work live on an electrical system and suffer devastating injuries. Sadly, this case is typical of occupational electrical injuries in Ontario. They tend to occur during repair or maintenance work and involve unsafe procedures—often working live on a panel. Decisions like these can have deadly consequences.”
An arc flash occurs when electrical current moves through the air creating a fiery explosion. A worker will be engulfed in a ball of flame in a split second and is also typically struck by molten metal shrapnel from exploding electrical equipment.
As a delegated administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario, ESA is responsible for administering specific regulations related to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the licensing of electrical contractors and master electricians, electricity distribution system safety, and electrical products safety.