Fine issued after WorkSafeBC conducted a follow-up investigation
Grocery store chains Buy-Low Foods Ltd. And Choices Markets (which is owned by Buy-Low Foods) were fined $540,261.25 for asbestos-related violations. WorkSafeBC conducted a hazardous materials survey at a store in Burnaby, B.C., which brought to light the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in the building’s ceiling fireproofing, as well as in debris on surfaces throughout the warehouse.
Following the investigation, WorkSafeBC ordered Buy-Low Foods Ltd. to remove or contain the ACMs. Nevertheless, after WorkSafeBC conducted a follow-up investigation, they found that the ACMs had been neither removed nor contained. Furthermore, the firm’s workers had not been informed of the ACM and no safe work procedures had been developed.
WorkSafeBC found that the firm had failed to ensure the health and safety of all workers in its workplace, which is a high-risk violation.
Recently, WorkSafeBC also fined three separate construction firms $20,000 each for asbestos-related violations.
Asbestos is a huge concern for WorkSafeBC. Indeed, since 2000, more workers have died from asbestos-related occupational diseases in the province than any other workplace injury, and the rate of occupational disease associated with asbestos is on the rise, according to the provincial government.