Asbestos Abatement Firm & Supervisor Fined for Workers’ Asbestos Exposure

An asbestos removal firm in eastern Ontario and its supervisor were given fines amounting to just under $30K recently for exposing workers to asbestos.

Court heard how workers were exposed to asbestos dust on a job site. The supervisor in question pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to ensure that his workers were using protective equipment and gear. The incident occurred last spring when three employees of the company were working on an asbestos remediation job at a residential home in a suburb of Ottawa. While the area they worked on was enclosed, asbestos containing materials (ACM) were released into the air, creating the dust hazard.

The situation was brought to the attention of the Ministry of Labour when an inspector arrived on-site. This is what he found:

  • One worker leaving the enclosed area full of asbestos dust in street clothes
  • The second worker handling bags of ACM inside the area, also in street clothes
  • The third worker cleaning up the area – also in street clothes

Insanity
It shouldn’t take an unexpected visit from the Ministry of Labour inspector to point out what had clearly gone wrong with the job. The fact that this was a supposedly bona fide asbestos removal company is something we’re finding completely outrageous.

The danger isn’t only to workers on that job site. What happens when the owners/tenants of the building come back? How careful have they been to clean up well? If they haven’t been careful with their own health and safety, how well have they looked after their clients?

Working in street clothing with asbestos and in the absence of any protective gear – that has to come as a result of ignorance – the same kind of ignorance that saw asbestos become ubiquitous throughout the world as a “miracle” construction material. Surely anyone who understands the clear risks could not act so carelessly.

We couldn’t agree more with the way this was handled.

Asbestos is No Joke
It was only decades after asbestos and ACM became so commonplace that workers first began to show signs of deadly mesothelioma. That’s the risk: you won’t feel it at first, in fact you may not for many years. However, the asbestos fibres remain in your lungs – they never leave – and can create the kinds of abnormal changes that result in lung cancers and mesothelioma.

Sloppy workmanship just doesn’t cut it when you’re dealing with asbestos. It not only puts workers at risk, it puts home and business owners at risk – anyone in the area, in fact, can be affected if asbestos is not properly handled and ends up blowing friable (inhalable) fibres into a neighbourhood.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for an asbestos removal or asbestos remediation quote today.

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.