Auto repair company owner fined $20,000 for 2015 explosion that killed worker cutting a steel drum

The owner of a Thompson auto repair business has been fined $20,000 for a 2015 explosion that killed a worker.

Clarence Jackson, owner of Clarence’s Automatic Transmission & General Repairs Ltd., pleaded guilty May 2 to failing to ensure the safety, health and welfare of a worker under the Workplace Safety and Health Act and failing to develop and implement safe work procedures for welding and allied processes as required by Workplace Safety and Health regulations.

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The incident occurred Nov. 11, 2015, when Jackson hired a friend to cut a 55-gallon steel drum into two pieces he intended to use to store car parts. The worker was provided with a handheld grinder to cut the drum. When he began cutting, fumes in the drum ignited and caused an explosion, which killed the worker.

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