(Canadian OH&S News) — The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) is investigating an incident that occurred at the Bruce Power plant in Tiverton on March 26, when an employee was injured by an electrical shock.
The incident took place while the worker was conducting planned electrical maintenance on Unit 5, which is in the “non-nuclear side” of the facility, according to John Peevers, Bruce Power’s department manager of communications and media relations. The maintenance work was going on while the unit was shut down for an outage.
“The worker did receive an electrical contact and was transported to an offsite medical facility,” said Peevers, who added that the employee was released from the hospital on March 28 after treatment.
“He was stable throughout the time he was in the hospital and is resting and recovering at home.”
MOL communications rep Janet Deline said that the Ministry had been notified of the accident on that day of its occurrence.
“It was reported to us that a worker received an electrical shock,” said Deline. “One of our inspectors attended the workplace, and they issued one requirement to the employer not to disturb the scene.”
The inspector returned to the plant on March 27 and issued two additional requirements to the employer, she added.
“They’ve all been complied with, so we have nothing outstanding,” Deline said of the requirements. “The investigation, though, is still ongoing.”
The company is conducting its own investigation as well, Peevers noted.
“We’re looking to obtain all the facts, trying to focus on prevention of this happening again and continuous improvement,” he said. “We do, obviously, a lot of electrical work onsite, so clearly, something happened here that shouldn’t have.”
The company’s other focus is “ensuring the employee gets all the help he needs in his recovery,” added Peevers. “Some compensatory actions were put in place.”
Peevers said that such an incident had never occurred at the plant over the 15 years that he had been working there. “Certainly not during my time here,” he said, calling this kind of electrical shock “not a common occurrence at all.”
Originally called Douglas Point, the Bruce Power plant was Canada’s first commercial nuclear reactor when it began operations in 1967, according to information from the company’s website. The plant provides more than 30 per cent of Ontario’s power, and the company claims to produce “safe energy that produces zero carbon emissions.”
In 2010, the plant achieved a total of 22 million injury-free hours among its employees, the website states.
“We do take any safety event extremely seriously,” said Peevers.