Companies must pay combined five-figure sum
Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are hazardous to workers, and violations in handling them have led to fines totalling $51,636.49 for three British Columbia employers.
Stocco Construction Co. Ltd. was fined $39,134.65 after it conducted abatement of ACMs at a pre-1990 house in Surrey scheduled for demolition, and issued a clearance letter indicating all abatement work was completed.
WorkSafeBC inspected the site and observed a bin onsite with debris from stucco and drywall, both confirmed ACMs. The agency also observed additional ACMs on the building exterior, and found that no controls were in place to prevent the spread of asbestos fibres. WorkSafeBC issued a stop-work order.
“The firm failed to safely contain or remove all hazardous materials,” according to the agency. “The firm also failed to have a qualified person ensure and confirm in writing that all hazardous materials were contained or removed, a repeated violation. In addition, the firm failed to take the necessary precautions to protect workers before allowing work that would disturb ACMs.”
These were all high-risk violations, it said.
Lack of qualified person
Meanwhile, Kinetic OHS Services Ltd. was tasked to pay $10,001.84 after the company completed a post-abatement inspection at a house in White Rock slated for demolition and issued a clearance letter indicating all ACMs had been removed.
WorkSafeBC determined that ACMs and cross-contaminated materials remained in the building, including duct tape, bell and spigot joints, and containment sheeting.
The firm failed to have a qualified person ensure all hazardous materials were safely contained or removed, which was a repeated and high-risk violation, according to the agency.
Lastly, RA1 Contracting & Environmental Ltd. was fined $2,500 after it conducted asbestos abatement at a fire-damaged house in Victoria.
A third-party inspection performed after that process identified asbestos dust and debris and other ACMs remaining in the house.
WorkSafeBC determined that the firm's risk assessment and work procedures did not effectively address the conditions experienced by its workers during the abatement work.
“The firm failed to ensure that a risk assessment had been conducted by a qualified person before any work began, a repeated violation. The firm also failed to safely contain or remove hazardous materials, and failed to take the necessary precautions to protect workers before allowing work that would disturb ACMs,” said WorkSafeBC. “These were all high-risk violations”
Previously, Leader Hazmat Ltd., 1230635 B.C. Ltd./Elemental Asbestos and Mold Removal, Sutton-Max Realty & Property Management, Focus Remediation Ltd., Craig's Bakery Ltd. and Onni Contracting Ltd., were also fined over asbestos-related violations in the workplace.