Oakville Company Fined Following the Death of a Worker

 

An Oakville company has been fined following the death of an employee.

On Jan. 27, 2017, an employee of Prokleen Washing Services Inc. was found unconscious inside a tank that carried nitrogen at the company's facility in Oakville, 2378 Royal Windsor Dr.

Prokleen Washing Services Inc., is a company that provides washing services for trucks and trailers, petroleum tankers and fuel delivery trucks, in addition to highway tractors, chemical tankers, flatbeds, semi-trailers, light-duty trucks, reefers (refrigerated trucks), as well as and dump trucks.

According to a recent news release from the Ontario government, two workers were performing the wash of a customer’s tank container that carried nitrogen.

One of the workers briefly left the workplace, when this worker returned the other worker was found unconscious in the tank.

In order to complete the wash, neither worker was required to enter the tank. 

Nitrogen shifts oxygen and can be an asphyxiation hazard in a confined space. 

Emergency medical services were called but the worker could not be revived.

After an investigation conducted by the Ministry of Labour, it was found that the company’s written plan did not properly identify certain workplace hazards. 

Specifically, according to the news release, an access point of a customer’s container was not equipped with warning signs as to the oxygen-depleted atmosphere of the tank.

The worker's, who was experienced, cause of death was determined to be inert gas asphyxiation - being oxygen deprived.

There were no eye witnesses to the incident. 

Now, almost a year later, Dec. 20, 2018, following a guilty plea, Prokleen Washing Services Inc. has been fined $105,000 by Justice of the Peace Margot McLeod in Milton court.

The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge.

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