Excerpt from the Ontario Government’s ‘Newsroom’
1604945 Ontario Inc., a Cambridge-based owner of commercial property for rent, was fined $60,000 on June 23, 2009, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after workers were put in danger of asbestos inhalation. Company director Krishan Judge was fined $10,000 in relation to the incident.
In June 2007, the company was renovating its building on Duke St. in Kitchener with the help of a contractor. On June 26, 2007, the Ministry of Labour received a complaint that workers at the building were not aware they were handling asbestos.
A ministry investigator saw that the mechanical insulation appeared compromised and disturbed and requested an asbestos survey for the building. The company could not produce one because it had failed to conduct the survey. Tests completed on July 5, 2007, confirmed that the mechanical insulation and dust contained asbestos.
1604945 Ontario Inc. pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing to determine whether any designated substances were present at the project site and failing to prepare a list of all designated substances present before the beginning of a project. Krishan Judge pleaded guilty under the OHSA to failing to take all reasonable care to ensure the company complied with the Act and its regulations.
The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Gay. In addition to the fines, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge on the total, 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:
1604945 Ontario Inc. was in contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), Section 30, subsection 1, which states,
“It is the duty of project owners, before beginning a project, the owner shall determine whether any designated substances are present at the project site and shall prepare a list of all designated substances that are present at the site.”
Krishan Judge was in violation of section 32 of the ACT, subsection (a) which states;
“Every director and every officer of a corporation shall take all reasonable care to ensure that the corporation complies with this ACT and the regulations.”
In today’s world asbestos has no place. It is so regulated, that of all the 11 designated substances, asbestos has 2 separate regulations, which are;
1) Ontario regulation 837 — Designated Substance — Asbestos
2) Ontario regulation 278/05 — Designated Substance — Asbestos on Construction Projects
The regulations are explicit when it comes to adherence to standards. The two regulations listed above discuss the Type 1, 2 and 3 operations and the associated control measures. The site survey is a must prior to any work being done.
And remember, the standard for health and safety committees is 20 or more employees UNLESS you have a designated substance on site then it does not matter the size of the workforce, a H&S committee is necessary.
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’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ Safe!
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.