Blog Post #1097 – Worker Burned by Asphalt, Guelph Company Fined $70,000

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

An employee of R&N Maintenance also known as Rann Maintenance, received critical injuries after a kettle with molten asphalt sealant was spilled.

Date of Offence: September 26, 2016.

The injured worker was a member of a crew performing road maintenance at the intersection of Danforth Avenue and Logan Avenue in Toronto.

While travelling a short distance between sites, workers were instructed to ride in the back of a truck. The truck also contained a functioning kettle with molten asphalt sealant with a temperature of about 165 degrees Centigrade (about 329 degrees Fahrenheit).

The truck stopped abruptly and the molten material in the kettle spilled onto one worker, causing serious injuries.

The Ministry of Labour investigation determined the company failed as an employer to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.

The company failed to ensure that material or things were transported or stored so that the material or things are carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards as will ensure that the transportation or storing of the material or things does not endanger the safety of a worker.

Following a guilty plea, Rann Maintenance was fined $70,000 by Justice of the Peace Ruby Wong in Toronto court, 70 Centre Avenue; Crown Counsel Aaron Dewitt.

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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

Rann Maintenance was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 2(h) which states,

“An employer shall,

(h) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

I believe that section 45, subsection (b) and (c) of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 can be used as as well. It states,

“Material, articles or things,

(b) shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things,

(i) will not tip, collapse or fall, and

(ii) can be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of any worker; and

(c) to be removed from a storage area, pile or rack, shall be removed in a manner that will not endanger the safety of any worker.”

This had to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard! Allowing an employee to ride in the back of a truck with so much hot asphalt! It does not seem possible, in this day and age, that a company would be so callous!

Every task should have a completed JHA (Job Hazard Analysis or Assessment) prior to any work is to be done. I guess Rann Maintenance forgot this step. Too bad for their employee!

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. We can help your company create checklists for all types of work that is to be done. We also include any necessary training you may require. All of our staff have either their safety designations or are on their way to completion.

Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.



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