Robert Excavating Fined $15,000+ for Damaging Pipeline
Six homes evacuated, and 20 homes lost service
Toronto, ON, May 25, 2023 – Robert Excavating pled guilty last Thursday to damaging a pipeline, an offense under the Technical Standards and Safety Act. As a result of the damage, six Ottawa homes were evacuated, and 20 homes lost service. The Ontario Court of Justice ordered Robert Excavating to pay a total fine of $15,000, plus a 25 per cent victim surcharge.
In August 2021, Robert Excavating and its subcontractor were performing a water rehabilitation project. Robert Excavating’s subcontractor struck a two-inch polyethylene pipeline with a mechanical excavator, causing gas to escape. While valid locates were obtained and locate marks were made on site, the pipeline was not located by hand digging prior to the use of mechanical equipment. In addition, the subcontractor was excavating within the one metre boundary of the pipeline.
“Any excavation work must comply with Ontario’s safety laws, including obtaining a valid pipeline locate before breaking ground and not using mechanical equipment while digging within one metre of a pipeline,” said Sam Sadeghi, Statutory Director, Fuels Safety Program, TSSA. “The consequences of not abiding by these laws can be catastrophic, as puncturing a gas line can result in damage, explosions, injury and even death.”
TSSA reminds Ontarians to contact Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to have cables, wires, and pipes located before digging to avoid hitting underground facilities, such as gas, hydro, cable, and phone lines. Damaged pipelines and subsequent gas release should be reported immediately to the Ministry of Environment’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060 or by contacting TSSA toll-free at 1-877-682-8772.
Throughout Ontario, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) administers provincial safety regulations and enhances public safety. TSSA regulates the safety of amusement devices, boilers and pressure vessels, elevating devices, fuels, operating engineers, and ski lifts. Its range of safety services include public education authorization, engineering design review, inspections, investigations, compliance support, enforcement, and prosecution activities.
For more information, please contact:
Vice President, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Technical Standards and Safety Authority