Kingston, Ontario fined for worker exposure to asbestos | National Union of Public and General Employees

Kingston, Ontario fined for worker exposure to asbestos

The City of Kingston pleaded guilty and was fined $60,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice yesterday. During the renovation of a public utilities building, workers were exposed to.


Kingston (7 October 2008) - Justice of the Peace Lorraine Watson heard that, in May 2007, the city hired David J. Cupido Construction Ltd. to complete renovations on the building at 1211 John Counter Blvd. The city informed this contractor that in 2003 there had been some asbestos testing in the building. Although these 2003 tests were negative, not all surfaces had been tested, and nothing had been tested since.

A worker noticed asbestos-like material at the beginning of renovations. Three weeks later it was tested, revealing chrysotile asbestos in the building and the project was shut down. Three of 24 air samples tested showed asbestos contamination. Workers had been on the job for three weeks and their personal protective equipment would not have met safety requirements for asbestos, the court heard.

Because the City of Kingston failed to determine the presence of asbestos and to advise prospective constructors, the City violated section 10 of Ontario Regulation 278 and section 30 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The court also 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.

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