Thursday, November 04, 2010

Huge fine should remind us to look before we dig

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO, CANADA — Please don’t accuse us of picking on this landscape company; we’re not. Indeed, we’re genuinely sorry the following tragedy, one of the strangest we’ve read about in a long time, happened in the first place. The purpose of this blog is to remind you of what can go wrong if you don’t you know about and mark all underground utilities before digging.

In July 2008, a worker for a Niagara Falls landscape company punctured a propane line with a reinforcing bar on a customer’s property. To make a long story short (you can get the details from a recent article in the Hamilton Spectator), the propane gas leached through the earth and followed a television cable conduit into the home’s basement. When enough propane collected in the home’s basement, it exploded and killed a 54-old-occupant.

The company has been fined a total of $225,000 for health-and-safety violations, reported the newspaper. The court said that company did not mark the propane line and its workers made no effort to locate the underground gas line.

Click here for the full story.

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