Lawyers for the City of Toronto recently pleaded guilty to a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect to potential asbestos exposure to workers on a construction project. The violation under Ontario Regulation 275, Section 10(5) carries a $60,000 fine along with a 25% surcharge that goes into a provincial fund that assists victims of crime.
At issue was a renovation project undertaken on a City owned property on Richmond Street East in April of 2011. When an inspector from the Ministry of Labour visited the site, he asked the workers about the presence of asbestos. The workers told the inspector they didn’t know whether the project contained any asbestos or asbestos containing materials or not.
In fact, an environmental audit had been done on the building in 2007 and had found asbestos containing materials. That audit was never given to the contractor by the City, and that’s the legal point where the violation occurred.
While in this case, there was no evidence that the workers were actually exposed to any asbestos, the issue is a very real on when it comes to renovating older buildings and homes. Asbestos becomes dangerous when the fibres can be inhaled, so as long as any asbestos containing material is intact, it’s considered safe, but during renovation projects, damaged and deteriorated materials can easily produce airborne dust.
Before You Renovate
The fact of the matter is that if your home was built before 1970, you have to assume that it contains asbestos, and it may appear in a wide variety of places including but not limited to:
- Roofing shingles
- Floor and ceiling tiles
- Pipe insulation and chasing
- Popcorn ceilings
- Textured paints
Before any renovation projects, call in the experts from GreenStream Environmental Services for an asbestos inspection. At GreenStream Environmental Services, we offer professional vermiculite and asbestos remediation services to help you contain and then rid yourself of this problem.
In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.
Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.