A hospital in Ottawa was recently found in violation on four counts of asbestos exposure negligence under Canada’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Each violation costs the hospital $15,000, for a total fine of $60,000. Over the course of a few years, maintenance workers were repeatedly instructed to drill into the ceiling and walls of the hospital, and were not told that it may possibly contain asbestos. CBC News reports that this negligence caused workers to be unable to take precautionary measures, such as wearing the proper clothing or using a drill with a HEPA filter.
The first incident occurred in 2011, when workers who were not trained in handling hazards like asbestos only wore masks to cover their lower faces. The second incident happened early last year in which workers were asked to remove parts of the ceiling, and again were not told the material they were handling could possibly contain asbestos.
Asbestos Information for Homeowners
If you suspect that asbestos was used in the construction of your home, here is some basic safety information to help you make informed decisions regarding your family’s exposure to asbestos.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency warns:
- If your house was built in the 1980s or before, it will likely have asbestos.
- If you decide to remodel your home, disturbance to the asbestos should be avoided and professional asbestos removers should be consulted.
- Do not try to vacuum or dry-sweep asbestos debris. This will cause the invisible shards of asbestos to become airborne.
- If something that contains asbestos is in good condition, leave it alone and consider hiring an asbestos inspector to sample and address safety concerns.
- If an item containing asbestos is damaged or breaking apart, isolate the area and immediately contact an asbestos professional.
If your workplace put you in harm’s way by exposing you to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. Even if you have already settled a claim for asbestos exposure, you are able to pursue another claim if you were later diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. You need to talk to our Mesothelioma lawyer to seek all the justice you and your loved ones deserve.
Cappolino Dodd Krebs LLP – mesothelioma attorneys
[Did You Know: Asbestos cannot be identified by the naked eye. It is about 1000 times smaller than the diameter of human hair.]