Hazardous Ontario propane sites

During an audit of 1500 small propane facilities across Ontario it was found that 35 sites posed an immediate hazard. More than 800 were not in compliance with all safety regulations.

Technical Standards and Safety Authority performed the audit after an explosion last summer at Sunrise Propane in Toronto which left two people dead and forced 12,000 from their dwellings.

The audit revealed a total of 816 of the smaller facilities were in non-compliance. Most of these were small corner stores that sell propane. This included 35 rated as an immediate hazard.

Not meeting standards included inoperative safety valves, minor leaks,`improperly trained staff or an invalid operating license.

Propane facilities that pose a hazard had been ordered to shut down until they meet compliance with all regulations. This was done and all were back in operation within a week.

For the larger sites, the 200 with a propane storage capacity of more then 5,000 US gallons resulted in 81 found not in compliance with all safety standards. Examples of these violations would include routine maintenance such as painting, fencing or weeds growing too close to tanks. There were 11 of the bigger propane facilities which had higher hazard levels. All of these have been corrected.

The audit updated the records and verified which of the smaller propane facilities are no longer operating. This audit was a result of government response to negative publicity after the Sunrise incident.

Once again,an insurance answer for helping to reduce risk and prevent claims is to have a good safety program that is monitored to be sure it is compliant.