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AbitibiBowater fined for injuries in 2008 at Fort Frances mill (July 13, 2010)


July 13, 2010
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Abitibi Consolidated Company of Canada, as the owner and operator of a paper mill in Fort Frances, Ontario, wa…

Abitibi Consolidated Company of Canada, as the owner and operator of a paper mill in Fort Frances, Ontario, was fined $125,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that caused injuries to two workers and a student. Because the company is under creditor protection, the fine has been stayed.
The incident in question took place on August 20, 2008. Two electricians at the paper mill were changing the power box for part of a paper machine. The power to the box was locked out. The power to the cabinet containing the box was not shut off or locked out. As the electricians removed the power box, they noticed a cable inside the cabinet that needed to be moved. One of them reached into the cabinet with a tool to remove a clamp holding the cable in place. The tool made electrical contact with a live conductor inside the cabinet and this created an arc flash. This caused another arc flash from the live conductors overhead.
The two electricians suffered first, second and third degree burns. A student who was watching them suffered first degree burns.
Abitibi Consolidated Company of Canada pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a tool was not used near a live electrical installation to prevent electrical contact with a live conductor.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Patricia Clydesdale-Cornell. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act.

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