Employer Fined $25,000 For Failure to Train, Equip Worker in Asbestos Removal
KINGSTON, ON - An employer who allowed a worker to remove asbestos materials without ensuring the worker was trained and had appropriate equipment has pleaded guilty in court and fined a total of $25,000.
In November and December 2012, Kevin Kauffman of Toronto was involved in the process of obtaining approvals for the redevelopment of a property located at 522/524 Johnson Street in Kingston. The exterior of the semi-detached multi-unit dwelling was clad in tiles containing asbestos and more tiles were stored in the basement; the building required asbestos abatement and disposal. He hired a worker to remove the siding and tiles. The worker lived on-site while performing the work.
Although he contacted a Ministry of Labour office and was advised of the requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act of the regulations relating to asbestos, the defendant failed to follow through on the necessary equipment and precautions.
The regulations state that employers must provide every worker entering the work area with an approved respirator, and ensure that workers are trained in the hazards of asbestos exposure, including proper work practices and the use, cleaning and disposal of respirators and protective clothing. The worker did not receive any form of asbestos training and was given a rubber mask and paper dust masks.
The defendant pleaded guilty in a Kingston court to failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by law were carried out. He was fined a total of $25,000.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Jack Chiang. 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.
Court Information at a Glance
Location: Provincial Offences Act (POA) Court
Judge: Justice of the Peace Jack Chiang
Date of Sentencing: August 27, 2013
Defendant: Kevin Kauffman
Matter: Occupational Health and Safety
Conviction: Ontario Regulation 278/05
Asbestos on Construction Projects and in
Buildings and Repair Operations
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Crown Counsel: Catherine Glaister