Canada Labour Code Prosecution: Toronto Tank Lines

The incident

On January 25, 2018, in Hamilton, Ontario, 2 employees of 1040135 Ontario Inc., carrying on business as Toronto Tank Lines, entered the interior of a tanker trailer used for transporting fresh produce in order to clean it. Shortly after entering the tanker trailer, the 2 employees lost consciousness. A co-worker noticed the employees in distress and called for help. The 2 employees were extracted by First Responders however only one employee survived. The other employee died from asphyxiation as a result of the tanker containing residual nitrogen that was used to keep the produce fresh.

Prosecution

Following an investigation by the Labour Program, on January 15, 2020 “Toronto Tank Lines” was charged with contravening the Canada Labour Code, Part II (the Code).

On August 11, 2020, as part of a joint submission, “Toronto Tank Lines” pled guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of employees was protected under section 124 of the Code, by failing to ensure employees were following the employer’s “Standard Operating Procedure for Confined Space Entry”, in contravention of subsection 148(2) of the Code. As part of the joint submission, “Toronto Tank Lines” was ordered by the Ontario Court of Justice to pay a fine of $175,000.

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