Workers Health & Safety Centre

Jail time for workplace asbestos-related convictions

Jail time for workplace asbestos-related convictions
A Greater Toronto-Area contractor has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for violations relating to unsafe asbestos removal work. 
 
Daniel Lane, the contractor operating as a company named HomeSeal, was hired to remove asbestos-containing insulation from a residential home in Gananoque, Ontario in August, 2014. According to a Ministry of Labour (MOL) press release, “The homeowner had been told by Lane that the asbestos removal work was being done in accordance with the MOL regulation, and that Lane was certified to perform this work; neither of these were true.
 
In fact, the MOL reported many violations of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (the Act) and the Asbestos Regulation. Examples included:
  • Lane had not completed mandatory training to perform this work,
  • respirators worn were not fit-tested and workers were not trained in their use,
  • the work area was not identified with any signs warning of an asbestos dust hazard,
  • the work area was not separated and sealed off from the rest of the home while removal was being done, and
  • containers for the dust and waste were not dust tight or identified as asbestos waste.

The MOL also reported that the homeowner and two others were present in the home during part of the removal.
 
Equally troubling, the asbestos-containing insulation was found to be illegally dumped on private property, not properly sealed and had no markings to warn the public about the contents.
 
The Justice of the Peace for this case 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 of safety of his workers but also for the public.``
 
The World Health Organization (WHO), a body of the United Nations, says unequivocally there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Not surprising, asbestos-related disease is the single largest cause of work-related death in Canada.
 
In total, Lane was convicted on nine charges under the Act and the Asbestos Regulation. In addition to the 30 day jail sentence, Lane was fined $45,000 plus a 25 percent victim fine surcharge.
 
Occupational Health & Safety Act
Section 25(1)(c) - 5 counts
Section 25(2)(i)
Section 25(2)(j)
Section 27(1)(a)
 
Ontario Regulation 278/05 (the Asbestos Regulation)
Section 13
 
Want to know more from the MOL about this conviction?
 
Want to know how the WHSC can help workplace parties in the construction sector and other workplaces better understand their extensive duties under health and safety law including asbestos removal and training obligations? 
 
Call:    1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a training service representative, or
Visit:    www.whsc.on.ca

Want to read the WHSC’s recently updated Asbestos: towards zero exposure fact sheet?