Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
The City of Toronto was fined $60,000 yesterday for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after an asbestos violation.
On April 1, 2011, a Ministry of Labour inspector visited a renovation project at a building on Richmond St. E. owned by the City of Toronto. When questioned, workers did not know whether there was any asbestos containing material present at the site. A 2007 environmental audit on the building, commissioned by the City, confirmed the presence of asbestos containing material in the building. However the City had not provided the constructor with a copy of the report. There was no evidence that workers were exposed to asbestos.
The City of Toronto pleaded guilty to failing to provide a copy of the report to the constructor.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Wendy Agnew. 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.
The law(s) broken,
The City of Toronto was found guilty of violating section 10(5) of the Ontario regulation 275/05, “Designated Substance – asbestos on construction projects and in buildings and repair operations,” which states,
“An owner shall give any prospective constructor a copy of the complete report prepared.”
There are 11 designated substances which once included 12 regulations, (asbestos had 2). The regulation listed, 278/05, is still in effect but the others have been included in new regulation 490/09. Please review if there is even a remote possibility one may be at your jobsite.
The designated substances are;
1) Vinyl chloride
4) Coke oven emissions
6) Asbestos and 7)asbestos on construction projects
12) Ethylene Oxide
There is enough information in regulation 278/05 to cover any issue with asbestos found on a construction project. Please review prior to any work being done. The planning stage would be a good place to discuss all possible hazards in the workplace.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer