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Asbestos Case Results in Jail, Fine

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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An Ontario-based contractor must spend 30 days in jail and pay a $45,000 fine after failing to comply with proper asbestos-removal procedures.

Daniel Lane, of Bolton, was found guilty of nine counts under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Asbestos Regulation, according to Ontario’s Ministry of Labour. The contractor, who operated under the name HomeSeal, was sentenced Jan. 14.

On two separate occasions in August 2014, Lane, along with at least one employee, removed asbestos-containing insulation from a 1,500-square-foot attic at a home in the small town of Gananoque.

© / j4m3z

The judge found that the contractor had "shown a total disregard not only for the health and safety of his workers but also for the public."

In imposing the convictions, 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.”

Unsafe Asbestos Removal

“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 Ministry of Labour reported.

The work area was not marked with any signs warning of an asbestos dust hazard and the workers did not wear protective clothing, officials said.

Further, Lane and the worker used respirators that were not fit-tested and they were not trained on their use, workplace safety officials said.

In addition, the Ministry of Labour had not been notified about the asbestos removal work, which is required under the regulation governing asbestos removal.

Asbestos in lungs

Asbestos is an extremely hazardous material that can lead to mesothelioma and lung cancer. The Centers for Disease Control image above shows asbestos fibres lodged in the lungs.

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.

Lies to Homeowner, Illegal Dumping

Lane told the homeowner 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; both were false, the officials said.

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 project.

The 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 reportedly 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.

The bags were full of asbestos-containing insulation, were not properly sealed, and had no markings to warn the public about the contents, officials related.


Tagged categories: Asbestos; hazardous materials; Health and safety; Insulation; Laws and litigation; Maintenance + Renovation; North America; Worker training; Workers

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