An overhead and underground utility contractor has pleaded guilty and been fined $80, 000 after a pair of workers suffered burns while working on equipment which had not been properly turned off.
Workers with Powerline Plus, which was under contract with Toronto Hydro, arrived at a Yonge Street condo in February of 2014 to continue work on an underground project.
The pair were told by their supervisors to go into the electrical vault, which housed various energized electrical equipment including step-down transformers and switch gears. The handle on one of those gears was in an open position with a blue tag attached indicating that there was work being done on the unit.
Neither worker knew the switch gear remained energized and since both workers believed the panel was not live, they didn’t test to see if it was energized.
No rubber gloves were worn and no barriers were used.
One worker suffered 1st and 2cd degree burns, the other suffered 3rd degree burns.
It was determined the company failed as an employer, and contravened the Occupational Health and Safety Act.