Hospital Fined $60,000 for Asbestos Violations

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In separate incidents, hospital maintenance workers drilled holes into a wall and ceiling that contained asbestos. But the drill wasn’t equipped with a HEPA filter. Although the workers were wearing masks, they didn’t take any other precautions to protect themselves or co-workers in the area. In addition, the hospital didn’t tell the workers they were working in an area containing asbestos or train them on working around it. The MOL also found that the supervisor who assigned the task didn’t have the required knowledge, training, or experience to identify work that could expose workers to asbestos or ensure the required safety measures and procedures were followed. The hospital pleaded guilty to four OHS violations, including failing to ensure that workers were provided with information about the presence of asbestos and that a competent supervisor was appointed. The court fined it $15,000 for each violation, totally $60,000 [Pembroke Regional Hospital Inc., Govt. News Release, Feb. 27, 2013].