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Hamilton trailer manufacturer fined for worker’s death

Miska Trailer Factory staffer died after coming into contact with live powerlines

December 17, 2020   by The Canadian Press

A trailer manufacturer in Hamilton has been fined $150-thousand dollars after a worker was electrocuted in its factory parking lot last year.

The Labour Ministry says the worker died after coming into contact with live powerlines after being told to modify some flags atop aluminum poles on March 21st, 2019.

It says Miska Trailer Factory pleaded guilty last week under the Health and Safety Act to failing to take every precaution reasonable to protect the worker.

It says the Ontario Court of Justice imposed the fine as well as a required 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge.

Background:

  • On March 21, 2019, a worker employed by Miska was tasked by a supervisor with modifying some new flags attached to aluminum poles and then mounting 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 in the parking lot, then got on the scissor lift with an aluminum pole with a 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 live overhead powerlines above the flag pole, electrocuting the worker.
  • Co-workers lowered the scissor lift and the worker was transported to hospital in critical condition, ultimately succumbing to the 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-foot) minimum distance set from live powerlines.

Miska committed the offence 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 and Safety Act.

 

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1 Comment » for Hamilton trailer manufacturer fined for worker’s death
  1. I don,t want too seem uncaring , actually my heart goes out to the family of the individual , I would have looked @ the task asked of me & asked my supervisor what are the wires close too were I was going to work ,are they LIVE & could we turn the power off until I get done. Sometimes workers need to think & not depend on the company to do all their thinking for them

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