OHS Canada Magazine

Dairy equipment maker in Lucan, Ont., fined $120,000 after worker killed by carbon monoxide

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January 26, 2024
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety carbon monoxide Fines ontario

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OJB Industries, a producer of agricultural equipment for the dairy industry, has been fined $120,000 after a worker was killed by carbon monoxide following a fire in an oil-lubricated air compressor.

The incident happened on May 2, 2022, at the company’s facility in Lucan, Ont.

On the morning of the incident a worker was sandblasting a metal turret in the abrasive blast room of the company’s Breen Drive facility. At the time the worker was wearing a NOVA 2000 respirator/helmet, gloves and coveralls.

The respirator was supplied air from an oil‐lubricated compressor located in a storage container at the back of the building.

Coworkers noticed that the sound of sandblasting stopped and then discovered the oil‐lubricated compressor was on fire. Several workers went to get fire extinguishers to put the fire out.


One worker in attempting to extinguish the fire entered the abrasive blast room to retrieve a water hose. There, this worker found the worker who had been performing the sandblasting unresponsive on the ground with a respirator/helmet still on but disconnected from the air supply line.

Emergency Medical Services responded and pronounced the worker deceased. It was later found that the immediate cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning.

An investigation by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development revealed that at the time of the incident the oil‐lubricated compressed air line did not have an in‐line continuous carbon monoxide monitor with audible and visual alarms that activate at 5 ppm (parts per million).

It was also noted that the RPB Nova 2000 respirator/helmet does not purify air or filter contaminants and that a carbon monoxide monitor must be used.

The company therefore failed to ensure the compressed breathing air system was equipped with a continuous carbon monoxide monitor and properly calibrated, and so endangered the life of the worker.

Following a guilty plea, OJB Industries was fined $120,000. The court also 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.


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