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News Release Ontario Communiqué

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Ministry of Labour Ministère du Travail


For Immediate Release
Nov. 29, 2001

VAUGHAN HYDRO-ELECTRIC COMMISSION FINED $160,000 FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY VIOLATION


RICHMOND HILL, Ont.--The Vaughan Hydro Electric Commission was fined $160,000 on November 28, 2001 for a violation of the Occupational <http://192.75.156.68/DBLaws/Statutes/English/90o01_e.htm> Health and Safety Act that resulted in the death of an employee.

On July 12, 1999, a worker in the Commission's forestry division was working high above ground in a truck bucket when the blade of his gas-powered "pole" saw (a saw on an extendable pole) came in contact with a live 13,800-volt line. The worker, who had just finished trimming tree branches around hydro lines, was electrocuted. The electrical current also ignited gas in the saw's engine causing a fire in the bucket. The injured worker was brought to the ground and the fire on the worker's clothing was extinguished. The worker was taken to hospital in Toronto and died two days later. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the "pole" saw was uninsulated and was, therefore, capable of conducting electrical current. The accident occurred on the north side of Highway 7, west of Wigwoss Drive in the City of Vaughan.

Vaughan Hydro-Electric Commission pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that tools capable of conducting electricity were not used near any live electrical installation that could result in the tools coming in contact with a live conductor. This was contrary to Section 25(2)(h) of the act.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Claudette Holmes of the Ontario Court of Justice in Richmond Hill.

The worker's supervisor also pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that tools capable of conducting electricity were not used near any live electrical installation that could result in the tools coming in contact with a live conductor. This was contrary to Section 25(2)(c) of the act.

Justice of the Peace Holmes fined the supervisor $8,500.

Contacts:

Belinda Sutton
Communications and Marketing Branch Ministry of Labour
(416) 326-7405 Victoria Kondo Crown Counsel
Legal Services Branch
Ministry of Labour
(416) 326-7584

Court Information At A Glance

Location : Ontario Court of Justice 50 High Tech Road, Courtroom S1 Richmond Hill, Ontario
Judge : Justice of the Peace Claudette Holmes
Date/Time: November 28, 2001, 9 a.m
Defendants: Vaughan Hydro-Electric Commission; and A supervisor
Matter: Occupational Health and Safety
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Last Modified: Thursday, November 29, 2001

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