Blog Post #714 – Hospital Guilty of Asbestos Violations

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Asbestos violations have netted a hospital in Ontario with a $60,000 fine on February 2013 after inspectors found maintenance staff working without adequate protection.

In October 2011, workers were drilling into a wall that was assumed to contain asbestos. While workers had their masks on, the drill was not equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, the workers were not given asbestos training and were not aware that they were working in an area with asbestos.

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) also found that the supervisor did not have the knowledge, training or experience necessary for work involving asbestos.

A separate incident between March and April 2012 saw workers without protection drilling and removing ceiling tiles where friable material could be located. Pembroke Hospital Inc. pleaded guilty as an owner and as an employer to four safety violations.

My opinion

There is an Ontario regulation dealing with asbestos in removal and construction. (Ont. regulation 278/05) (Designated Substance – Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations) Any time a company has workers possibly coming in contact with friable asbestos material, this particular regulation MUST apply.

Below I have listed a few definitions for the reader:

1) Friable Material – means material that

(a) When dry, can be crumbled, pulverized or powdered by hand pressure; or
(b) Is crumbled, pulverized or powdered.

2) Competent Worker – means a worker who,

(a) Is qualified because of knowledge, training, and experience to perform the work;
(b) Is familiar with the Act and with the provisions of the regulations that apply to the work; and
(c) Has knowledge of all potential or actual danger to health and safety in the work.

The company must also hire a 3rd party firm that deals with Type 3 Asbestos Removal.

Please ensure that your company, when possibly dealing with friable asbestos material, has fully trained type III workers and supervisors. This is a MUST and that would just be the start. That means that the workers and supervisors have to be competent to complete the removal. Normally, however, a qualified and competent third party is called in for the short term removal.

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 ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Asbestos Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. 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 – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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