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Worker injured by arc flash, Waterloo North Hydro fined

July 18, 2012 | By Alyssa Dalton

July 18, 2012 – Waterloo North Hydro Inc., an electricity distributor for Waterloo, Ont., and the surrounding area, was fined $110,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured due to an arc flash.

On October 12, 2010, a mall was under construction in Waterloo. Workers from Waterloo North Hydro had installed transformers on site and were attempting to send power from a transformer in one location to a transformer in another location. As power was sent to the second transformer, a worker for an electrical contractor was in the area routing a metal tape through a duct. The tape came into contact with a newly energized electrical conductor and caused an arc flash. The worker was badly burned.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that an adequate job plan for energizing the transformers had not been documented, as a job plan would have identified all known hazards and implemented controls for each hazard to protect workers from injury.

Waterloo North Hydro pleaded guilty to failing to establish and implement an adequate job plan prior to installing and energizing the transformers.

The fine has been imposed, along with a 25% victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act.

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