Machine & Operator Safety
Trailer manufacturer fined $150K for worker fatality
December 17, 2020 by Ministry of Labour, Training & Skills Development/MA Staff
A trailer manufacturer located in Hamilton, Ont. has been fined $150,000 in provincial court after an accident that resulted in a worker’s death.
The worker was electrocuted last year after coming into contact with live powerlines at Miska Trailer Factory’s manufacturing facility.
The company pleaded guilty and will also be subject to a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
An investigation by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development showed that 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, where the person died of their injuries.
The ministry found Miska did not take steps to prevent encroachment by the existing flagpole and new flag installation upon the three-metre (10-foot) minimum distance set from live powerlines.