Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (June 2016)
An investigation by OH&S officials from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has led to charges against the Eastern Regional Health Authority or Eastern Health, one of its supervisors and two employees.
The charges stem from an incident on May 2014 that allegedly took place at the Miller Centre in St. John’s. A statement dated May 06, 2014 from Service N.L. does not specify the details of the incident, but reveals that it was related to ongoing maintenance work in an area of the Centre known to contain asbestos.
Eastern Health is facing 10 charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Asbestos Abatement Regulations. The charges involve the organization’s “alleged failure as an employer” to provide proper instruction, training and supervision to workers, ensure the employees set up a decontamination area, provide ventilation and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the workers and comply with the work and hygiene practices in the Regulations.
In addition, an Eastern Health supervisor has been charged with four violations of the Act for failing to warn employees of the hazards present at the worksite, instruct them on the proper precautions and make sure that workers were wearing the appropriate PPE.
An employee of the organization is charged with failure to take reasonable care to protect his/her health and safety and that of others and to use equipment for protection. A second employee is also facing the former charge.
The Ontario regulation, 278/05, Designated Substance – Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Building and Repair Operations covers much information. It states that there are 3 Types of asbestos operations and a Type 3 operation requires extra training.
Asbestos Abatement Training Programs
Section 20, section (1) states
“The employer shall ensure that,
(a) every worker involved in a Type 3 operation has successfully completed the Asbestos Abatement Worker Training Program approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development; and
(b) every supervisor of a worker involved in a Type 3 operation has successfully completed the Asbestos Abatement Supervisor Training Program approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.”
It sounds to me that the asbestos alarm went off but Eastern Health was not ready to answer. Too bad. An all familiar story!
Asbestos is called a ‘Designated Substance’ and requires special control plans when dealing with it.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Asbestos Safety Awareness’.
Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.