A contractor who offered asbestos removal services in the Kingston, Greater Toronto, Barrie and Hamilton areas has been found guilty of failing to comply with the required health and safety measures and procedures for asbestos removal work. Daniel Lane of Bolton, Ontario, who operated a business under the name HomeSeal, was sentenced yesterday to 30 days in jail and fined $45,000 in Brockville court.
On two separate dates in August 2014, Daniel Lane, along with at least one worker he hired, attended a residential home in Gananoque to remove asbestos-containing insulation from the 1,500-square-foot attic. 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 work area was not identified with any signs warning of an asbestos dust hazard, no protective clothing was worn by Lane and the worker, who wore only jeans and t-shirts, and containers for the dust and waste were not dust tight or identified as asbestos waste. Respirators worn by Lane and the worker were not fit-tested and they were not trained on their use.
In addition, the Ministry of Labour had not been notified about the asbestos removal work, which is required under the regulation governing asbestos removal. 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.
The homeowner had been told by Lane 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; neither of these were true. Further, 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.
A 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 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. These bags were full of asbestos-containing insulation, were not properly sealed, and had no markings to warn the public about the contents.
After a trial, the court convicted Daniel Lane on all nine counts under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Asbestos Regulation, Ontario Regulation 278/05. In imposing the convictions on January 14, 2016, 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.
His Worship Doran imposed a 30-day jail sentence and $45,000 in fines against Lane.
In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
Manning Environmental Law is a Canadian law firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Our practice is focussed on environmental law, energy law and aboriginal law.
Paul Manning is a certified specialist in environmental law. He has been named as one of Canada’s leading Environmental Lawyers by Who’s Who Legal: Canada and ranked by Lexpert as one of Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers.
As always, these posts are provided only as a general guide and are not legal advice. If you do have any issue that requires legal advice please get in touch. Our contact details can be found here