Ontario nuclear generator fined $110,000 for workplace injury

The justice said Bruce Power violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Ontario nuclear generator fined $110,000 for workplace injury

A justice of the peace ordered a $110,000 fine on an Ontario nuclear power generator for failing to acquaint its workers with the hazards of handling equipment, which resulted in the critical injury of a worker.

Bruce Power Inc violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act, said Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson in Owen Sound court in a December 6 decision. The court also imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge – credited to a special provincial government fund – to assist victims of crime as required by the Provincial Offences Act.

In February 2016, at the Bruce ‘B’ Nuclear Generating Station power plant on Lake Huron, near Tiverton, Ontario, the worker was drilling a hole on the plant’s generator. He was removing a bore plug on a rotor undergoing maintenance. Flames emanated from the hole and injured the worker.

A probe by the Ministry of Labour found that the flames were because of the release of hydrogen from pressurized containment inside the rotor core.
GE, which manufactured the generator, had prepared and made available a technical information letter. The letter discussed the potential hazards of trapped hydrogen gas. The manufacturer also recommended that the rotor core be tested and purged of hydrogen, not pressurized before plug removal, and the removal of potential sources of ignition.

This information, however, was not made known to the team doing the maintenance work. The recommended method was also not heeded.


Related stories:
Major OHSA changes imminent
$1M fine for fatal workplace injury

 

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