Companies ordered to pay combined five-figure penalty
WorkSafeBC has penalized four British Columbia construction firms for workplace safety violations.
Onni Contracting Ltd. has been fined $38,991.91 for violations it committed while undergoing a renovation at a commercial complex in Victoria.
The agency found that the company had removed drywall, a potential asbestos-containing material (ACM), even though it did not conduct a hazardous materials survey nor put in place measures to protect workers from hazardous materials.
A survey conducted later confirmed that the drywall joint compound was an ACM.
“The firm failed to ensure a qualified person identified hazardous materials before renovation work began, and failed to take the necessary precautions to protect workers before beginning work that would disturb ACMs. In addition, as prime contractor, the firm failed to ensure health and safety activities were coordinated at the workplace. These were all high-risk violations,” according to WorkSafeBC.
Cole R. Ross/Boss Roofing was fined $5,000 for violations that happened while the firm was doing roofing work on a two-storey building in West Vancouver.
WorkSafeBC inspected the site and observed four workers, including a representative of the firm, on the 4:12 sloped roof. No fall protection was in place, exposing the workers to a fall risk of up to 8.5 m (28 ft.).
The firm failed to ensure fall protection was used, a repeated and high-risk violation. The firm also failed to co-operate with a WorkSafeBC officer, according to WorkSafeBC.
Earlier, Campbell Construction Ltd. in Victoria was charged $164,343.11 after one of its workers sustained fatal injuries in the workplace.
Kisito Ndenecho/Cloverman Environmental Contracting was also fined $2,500.
The firm was conducting asbestos abatement at a pre-1990 house in Surrey slated for demolition.
During abatement work, WorkSafeBC found that there was no three-stage decontamination facility and no negative air unit in place, and there were breaches in the building containment.
Also, workers were observed with dust from drywall, an identified asbestos-containing material (ACM), on their clothing and skin. No exposure control plan or respirator fit-tests were available, and two of the workers were not clean-shaven, which would have interfered with the fit of their respirators.
WorkSafeBC issued a stop-work order.
The firm failed to take the necessary precautions to protect workers before beginning work that would disturb ACMs, it said, adding that the firm also failed to safely contain or remove all hazardous materials. These were both high-risk violations.
Hanspal Framing Ltd. was also fined $2,500 for violations it committed when it was working on the construction of a new duplex in Vancouver.
Two workers, one of whom was a representative of the firm, were installing sheathing on the 10:12 sloped roof. The workers were wearing fall protection harnesses but were not connected to lifelines. No other form of fall protection was in place, exposing the workers to a fall risk greater than 7.6 m (25 ft.).
“The firm failed to ensure fall protection was used, and failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety,” said WorkSafeBC. “These were both repeated and high-risk violations.”
Previously, Kalan Constructions Ltd. was fined $6,122.42 for errors made while installing siding at a three-storey house under construction in Maple Ridge.