Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A contractor who offered asbestos removal services in the Kingston, Greater Toronto, Barrie and Hamilton areas has been found guilty of failing to comply with the required health and safety measures and procedures for asbestos removal work. Daniel Lane of Bolton, Ontario, who operated a business under the name HomeSeal, was sentenced yesterday to 30 days in jail and fined $45,000 in Brockville court.
On two separate dates in August 2014, Daniel Lane, along with at least one worker he hired, attended a residential home in Gananoque to remove asbestos-containing insulation from the 1,500-square-foot attic. The work area was not separated and sealed off from the rest of the home while the removal was being done with a large vacuum system, and no decontamination facilities were in place to prevent the spread of dust.
The work area was not identified with any signs warning of an asbestos dust hazard, no protective clothing was worn by Lane and the worker, who wore only jeans and t-shirts, and containers for the dust and waste were not dust tight or identified as asbestos waste. Respirators worn by Lane and the worker were not fit-tested and they were not trained on their use.
In addition, the Ministry of Labour had not been notified about the asbestos removal work, which is required under the regulation governing asbestos removal. Lane also did not have a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act posted in the workplace as required, nor was there a written health and safety policy for the workplace.
The homeowner had been told by Lane that the asbestos removal work was being done in accordance with the Ministry of Labour regulation, and that Lane was certified to perform this work; neither of these were true. Further, Lane had not completed the required training for asbestos work. The homeowner was present in the home along with two other individuals during part of the removal.
A Ministry of Labour investigation was carried out jointly with Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, along with the Kingston Police Force when two separate incidents of illegal dumping were reported to the Kingston police.
Investigators found 13 large vacuum bags, each measuring five to six feet in length and weighing several hundred pounds that had been dumped on private property. These bags were full of asbestos-containing insulation, were not properly sealed, and had no markings to warn the public about the contents.
After a trial, the court convicted Daniel Lane on all nine counts under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Asbestos Regulation, Ontario Regulation 278/05. In imposing the convictions on January 14, 2016, Justice of the Peace John Doran found this was a case of clear deceit and misrepresentation by Lane to the homeowner, and that Lane had shown a total disregard not only for the health and safety of his workers but also for the public.
His Worship Doran imposed a 30-day jail sentence and $45,000 in fines against Lane.
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) in contravention:
Daniel Lane was found guilty (5 counts) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1 (c) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
He was also found guilty of a few other sections of the OHSA, as well as one from the Ontario regulation 278/05 Asbestos – Designated Substance – Asbestos on Construction Projects and In Buildings and Repair Operations.
The following were also included from the OHSA:
Section 25, subsection 2 (i) of the OHSA which states,
“An employer shall,
Post, in the workplace, a copy of this Act and any explanatory material prepared by the Ministry, both in English and the majority language of the workplace, outlining the rights, responsibilities and duties of workers.”
Section 25, subsection 2 (j) of the OHSA which states,
“An employer shall,
prepare and review at least annually a written occupational health and safety policy and develop and maintain a program to implement that policy.”
Section 27, subsection 1 (a) of the OHSA which states,
“A supervisor shall ensure that a worker,
(a) works in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and the regulations.”
Daniel Lane was also found guilty of a violation of the Ontario regulation 278/05, section 13 which states,
A respirator provided by an employer and used by a worker in a Type 1, Type 2 or Type 3 operation,
(a) shall be fitted so that there is an effective seal between the respirator and the worker’s face, unless the respirator is equipped with a hood or helmet;
(b) shall be assigned to a worker for his or her exclusive use, if practicable;
(c) shall be used and maintained in accordance with written procedures that are established by the employer and are consistent with the manufacturer’s specifications;
(d) shall be cleaned, disinfected and inspected after use on each shift, or more often if necessary, when issued for the exclusive use of one worker, or after each use when used by more than one worker;
(e) shall have damaged or deteriorated parts replaced prior to being used by a worker; and
(f) when not in use, shall be stored in a convenient, clean and sanitary location.”
The following additional requirements apply to a respirator of the supplied air type:
1. The compressed air used for breathing shall meet the standards set out in Table 1 of CSA Standard Z180.1-00, Compressed Breathing Air and Systems (March, 2000).
2. If an oil-lubricated compressor is used to supply breathing air, a continuous carbon monoxide monitor equipped with an alarm shall be provided.
3. If an ambient breathing air system is used, the air intake shall be located in accordance with Appendix B of the standard referred to in paragraph 1.”
If respirators are used in the workplace,
(a) the employer shall establish written procedures regarding the selection, use and care of respirators; and
(b) a copy of the procedures shall be provided to and reviewed with each worker who is required to wear a respirator.”
(4) A worker shall not be assigned to an operation requiring the use of a respirator unless he or she is physically able to perform the operation while using the respirator.”
What else is there to say? Here we have someone who has a total disregard for human life and does not care, one way or the other, to protecting the workplace.
I found the fine to be a joke but then again, Daniel Lane will just start up under another company and continue to put people at severe risk.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
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.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.