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Hydro Ottawa fined over fatal accident


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March 30, 2016 by On-Site Magazine

Hydro Ottawa has been convicted and ordered to pay $225,000 following the death of a worker and two others being injured when a boom truck came in contact with a live wire.

In March, 2012, workers employed by a subcontractor were engaged in the installation of new hydro poles and wires under existing energized lines in Ottawa, Ontairo. Three workers were excavating a hole when the boom of a work vehicle came within three meters of a power line which was located about six meters above the hole. All three workers received electrical shocks, with one worker succumbing to the injuries at the hospital. The two other workers sought medical attention at the hospital and did not suffer permanent physical injuries

After a trial, Hydro Ottawa Ltd. was found guilty, as a constructor, of violating three sections of the Constructions Projects Regulation, including:

  • failing to ensure the boom of a vehicle was not brought within three metres of an energized overhead conductor of 750 or more volts;
  • failing to ensure a competent worker designated as a signaler was stationed so as to be in full view of an operator and had a clear view of the electrical conductor and of the vehicle, to warn the operator every time any part of the vehicle or other equipment may approach the minimum distance; and
  • failing to take every reasonable precaution to prevent hazards to workers from energized electrical equipment, installation and conductors.

On November 12, 2013, Digsafe Inc. of Ottawa, pleaded guilty in relation to the incident and was ordered by Justice of the Peace John Balkwill to pay a fine of $125,000.


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