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Ontario Asbestos Legal Question

ontario asbestos legal question

Asbestos was once a popular material used in building because it’s strong and can resist fire. However, it’s now known to be very harmful to health. This has led to strict rules and a complicated legal area around managing and dealing with asbestos in Ontario. This blog will help you understand the legal issues related to asbestos that people and businesses in Ontario might encounter.

Identifying Asbestos in Buildings

The first step in dealing with asbestos laws in Ontario is figuring out if there is asbestos in a building. Asbestos was often used in buildings before the late 1980s, so older buildings might still have materials that contain asbestos. In Ontario, the owners of these buildings are responsible for managing the risk of asbestos. They need to hire experts to check and test buildings if they think asbestos might be present.

Legal Duties for Handling Asbestos

Once asbestos is found, Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires strict rules to be followed to manage and remove asbestos safely. Property owners must make sure that any work involving asbestos is done by qualified professionals who follow safety rules. If they don’t follow these rules, they could face big fines and be held responsible for any harm caused.

Telling Others About Asbestos

When selling a property, the seller must tell potential buyers if there is asbestos. This rule helps protect new owners from unknowingly taking on the risks related to asbestos. If a seller doesn’t tell a buyer about the asbestos, they could be sued to cover the costs for dealing with the asbestos.

Workers’ Rights and Asbestos

Workers who might be exposed to asbestos at their job have specific rights under Ontario law. Employers must provide the right safety equipment and training to employees who work in places where there might be asbestos. Workers who get sick from asbestos, like getting mesothelioma or asbestosis, might be able to get compensation through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or sue if their employer was negligent.

Asbestos Lawsuits in Ontario

Suing over asbestos issues can be complicated because it often takes a long time for diseases from asbestos to show up. People who sue need to prove that their health problems are directly linked to asbestos exposure from certain places or products. Ontario courts have seen many cases, ranging from individual lawsuits to big class actions, showing how widespread the issue of asbestos is.

Future Changes to the Law

The laws about asbestos in Ontario are always changing. Lately, there has been more attention on how asbestos is handled in public buildings and calls for even stricter rules. Anyone dealing with asbestos—like property owners, employers, or workers—needs to keep up with the latest legal changes to make sure they follow the rules and protect their rights.


Dealing with the legal issues around asbestos in Ontario means understanding the laws and the health risks. Whether you own a property with asbestos, are an employer making sure your workplace is safe, or a worker affected by asbestos, getting advice from a lawyer who knows about asbestos laws can help guide you through this complex area.

You can also take our blog help at the law input to know more about legal facts. 

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