Blog Post #420 – City of Toronto Fined $60,000 after Asbestos Violation

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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

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
2) Lead
3) Mercury
4) Coke oven emissions
5) Isocyanates
6) Asbestos and 7)asbestos on construction projects
8) Silica
9) Arsenic
10) Acrylonitrile
11) Benzene
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”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Asbestos Safety Awareness’ and ‘Due Diligence’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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