DCN ARCHIVES

March 11, 2005

Two companies fined in accident

Aecon Group Inc. and Union Gas Limited were each fined $300,000 earlier this week for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) that resulted in one fatality and serious injuries to three other workers.

Court heard that on April 28, 2003, both companies were involved in relocating a natural gas pipeline to make way for a new storm sewer construction project on Rose Street in Windsor, Ont.

The flow of natural gas in the pipeline was controlled and redirected during the process by use of a Williamson Shortstopp machine that was attached to a spherical tee, which was welded over the top of the pipeline.

The machines are used for gas line relocations, equipment tie-ins and gas line extensions so that the gas line does not need to be shut down.

The work in Windsor was being done in a trench.

A press release from the Ministry of Labour says that at the time of the incident, two Aecon workers were welding a steel end cap to an abandoned pipe attached to the spherical tee.

While the cap was being tack welded onto the end of the pipe, a large fireball suddenly engulfed the workers in the trench and caused injuries to other workers in close proximity to the trench, the ministry said.

One worker received fatal burns, two others suffered serious burns and another suffered a dislocated shoulder and torn left bicep.

There was also considerable damage to property and vehicles parked in close proximity to the trench.

An investigation by the labour ministry determined that Union Gas Limited failed to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that the T-Handle was removed from the Williamson Shortstopp Plugging Machine so as to prevent accidental rotation while cutting or welding on a natural gas pipeline. This was contrary to section 25 (2) (h) of the OHSA. Union Gas pleaded guilty to the charge.

The investigation also determined that Aecon Group failed to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that a worker was wearing fire retardant clothing while cutting and welding on a natural gas pipeline. This was contrary to section 25 (2) (h) of the OHSA. Aecon Group was found guilty of the charge.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Gay of the Ontario Court of Justice in Windsor.

In addition, a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge was added, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

Aecon is Canada’s largest publicly traded construction and infrastructure development company.

— DCN staff

Print | Comment

MOST POPULAR STORIES
TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

These projects have been selected from 371 projects with a total value of $1,936,826,394 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Thursday.

GOVERNMENT OFFICE TOWER

$134,000,000 Toronto ON Prebid

CONDOMINIUM APARTMENT BLDGS, TOWNHOUSES, RETAIL

$128,250,000 North York ON Prebid

CONDOMINIUM APARTMENT BLDG, OFFICES, RETAIL

$100,000,000 Toronto ON Prebid

Daily Top 10

CURRENT STORIES
TODAY’S TOP JOBS

Experienced Site Superintendent
Ontario-Cobourg

Project Manager
Ontario-Oshawa

Estimator
Ontario-Toronto

Site/Field Coordinator
Ontario-Mississauga

Superintendent
Alberta-Red Deer

Operations Foreman
British Columbia-Vancouver

Earthworks Estimator
Ontario-King

Junior Construction Manager
Alberta-Fort McMurray

Estimator/Project Manager
Ontario-Gormley

Machinist
Alberta-Edmonton

More jobs 

myJobsite.ca

Your gateway to
the top careers
in construction
and design