Trailer manufacturer fined $150K over electrocution of employee
By Anthony Capkun
December 16, 2020 – Following a guilty plea in Ontario Court of Justice in Hamilton, 2055495 Ontario Inc. (operating as Miska Trailer Factory) was fined $150,000 plus a 25% victim fine surcharge for an offence involving the electrocution of a worker last year.
In March 2019, a worker employed by Miska was tasked by a supervisor to modify some new flags attached to aluminum poles, then mount the aluminum poles atop stationary flagpoles located along a fence in the factory’s parking lot.
The worker drove a forklift, with a scissor lift on its forks, to the work area, then got onto the scissor lift, with an aluminum pole and flag (attached). The worker raised the lift to reach the top of the flagpole.
As the aluminum pole was lifted into position, it made contact with the 16,000-volt overhead powerlines above the flag pole, severely shocking the worker.
Co-workers lowered the scissor lift, and the worker was transported to hospital in critical condition, where he succumbed to his injuries.
An investigation of the incident by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development found Miska did not take steps to prevent encroachment by the existing flagpole and new flag installation upon the 3-metre (10-ft) minimum distance set for live powerlines.
Miska was subsequently found guilty of failing, as an employer, to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances, for the protection of a worker, contrary to Section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act.