June 28, 2018 by Jillian Morgan
ORANGEVILLE, Ont.—Construction company Roto-Mill Inc. has been fined $60,000 for its failure to prevent a hot asphalt-related flash fire that sent a worker to hospital with critical injuries in June 2016.
Roto-Mill, based in Orangeville, Ont., pleaded guilty in court June 22.
The court imposed a 25 per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
On-site of a highway repaving project in Port Colborne, Ont., workers had been instructed to heat asphalt to an operating temperature of 320 degrees F but not exceeding 380 degrees.
The worker re-heated asphalt cement in a Roto-Mill tanker truck to 500 degrees, following a previously instructed procedure.
With the assistance of another worker, the re-heater cooled down to lower temperatures. A pump was activated to draw the asphalt cement and then shut off.
The first worker climbed onto the top of the tanker truck, wearing hot asphalt protective equipment, and was struck by a single-flash fire that came from the unit’s discharge pipe near the truck’s hatch.
In an investigation by the Ministry of Labour and a report prepared by a ministry engineer, it was concluded that the overheated asphalt resulted in flammable vapours and hazardous gases.