Parents of Leamington worker get answers regarding son’s death
Parents of a young electrician killed in a workplace accident say they are glad they finally have some answers about how their son died.
Harrow business EnerQuest Services has been fined more than $100,000 in the death of Leamington worker Wayne Affleck.
The family of Wayne Affleck talked exclusively with CTV News on Wednesday and they say they care very little about the fine levied against EnerQuest. It's the facts they heard in a Whitby courtroom that are bringing them more comfort.
The Affleck family of Leamington was prepared to go to Whitby for six days in August, for a trial against EnerQuest Services.
But just last week Don and Marlene Affleck they got a call from the Ministry of Labour telling them to get to Whitby Tuesday because the matter involving their son had been unexpectedly settled.
“This has been going on for three years now they could have pled out the very first time this was up,” says Don Affleck.
But now, the Afflecks finally have some answers.
“He was electrocuted,” says Don Affleck.
“He went to work and never came home,” says Marlene Affleck.
Wayne Affleck was 27 when he died on Dec. 13, 2013. He was an apprentice electrician, working for EnerQuest Services north of Whitby.
“Wayne apparently was installing some fuses, and then he backed into the panel,” says Don Affleck. “They went on to day they did CPR for 20 minutes or whatever.”
On Tuesday, in a Whitby courtroom, EnerQuest Services was convicted under the Occupational Health And Safety Act of one count of failing to ensure the measures and procedures in section 190 were carried out.
That section deals with making sure workers are safe from electrical shock and burn and it spells out how each worker should be given a written copy of the employer's safety measures.
On Tuesday, EnerQuest Services was convicted of one count of failing to ensure that the measures and procedures were carried out.
“He was just doing what he was told, did he know that was on? Probably not,” says Marlene Affleck.
EnerQuest was fined $110,000 and ordered to pay a further 25 per cent victim's surcharge.
“The amount of the fine is never going to replace Wayne, the biggest thing to come out of there was to learn that it wasn't his fault.”
EnerQuest CEO Bill Parr issued a statement on Wednesday.
"It has been a difficult time for all of us at EnerQuest since the loss of Wayne, our friend and our co-worker,” said Parr in the statement. “In honour of Wayne's memory, Enerquest has submitted, application requests for electrical code changes, to help prevent the tampering of CSA approved electrical products, enhancing the safety for all workers so that a tragedy of this nature can be avoided in the future."
Don Affleck say he was just happy to go there yesterday. "They were charged, they were convicted, it wasn't his fault. And I just sort of like to leave it at that, but it’s not going to happen.”
The next step is a Coroners’ inquest. According to the Ministry of Labour, an inquest is mandatory when a worker dies on a construction site.
No date has been set. The ministry says it may take up to two years for that to happen.
But for Marlene Affleck, it may be her one and only chance to speak her mind.
“If you don't feel safe, don't do it,” says Marlene Affleck. I don't want this happening to nobody else. I don't want nobody else to be put in our position, I'm really hoping it will give me closure.”