Vomar Industries/Tank Traders Fined $55,000 After Propane Fire in Smithville
ST. CATHARINES, ON - Vomar Industries Inc. of LaSalle, Manitoba, operating as Tank Traders, has pleaded guilty and fined a total of $55,000 for failing to protect workers at a workplace in Ontario and for improperly handling propane.
The company operated a propane filling and distribution centre at 3089 Regional Road 12 in Smithville. Licensing of such facilities falls under the jurisdiction of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).
On April 1, 2010 a fire occurred on the property. About 30,000 propane tanks and three trucks were damaged in the fire. No one was injured as a result of the incident, although about 30 cylinders were projected as much as 280 feet.
Investigation revealed that Vomar filled and stored leaking, damaged and corroded cylinders and that Vomar's cylinder-filling carousel was not operating properly and would routinely overfill propane cylinders. Rather than immediately evacuating these overfilled cylinders as required, Vomar employees stored them in the southeast corner of the facility, where the fire started. Employees were present when the fire began and could have been injured.
At St. Catharines provincial court on March 26, Vomar pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that propane cylinders at a workplace were stored in a manner that did not endanger a worker, and received a fine of $25,000. The company also pleaded guilty to a count under laws governing propane storage and handling for filling propane cylinders that were damaged, leaking or corroded, and received a fine of $30,000.
The company no longer performs propane filling at the Smithville location.
The $55,000 fine was imposed by Justice Peter H. Wilkie.
In addition to the fine, 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.
Court Information at a Glance
Ontario Court of Justice
59 Church Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Justice Peter H. Wilkie
Date of Sentencing:
March 26, 2014
Vomar Industries carrying on business as Tank Traders
1 Bomar Road
Occupational health and safety
Propane storage and handling
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Technical Standards and Safety Act