Operational failures to clear hazardous materials penalized
Three British Columbia employers have been fined for asbestos-related violations in the workplace.
Focus Remediation Ltd. was fined $5,000 for violations it committed in Burnaby and Surrey.
At the two worksites, the company had conducted asbestos abatement and issued clearance letters stating all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) had been contained or removed.
At the first site, WorkSafeBC issued a stop-work order after observing stucco, a confirmed ACM, in debris as well as still attached to the house.
At the second site, the building had been demolished. WorkSafeBC found vinyl flooring and drywall, both confirmed ACMs, in the debris. The agency once again issued a stop-operations order to the firm.
“The firm failed to ensure hazardous materials were safely contained or removed, and failed to ensure a qualified person confirmed in writing that hazardous materials were safely contained or removed. These were both repeated and high-risk violations,” according to WorkSafeBC.
Akal Demolition & Excavation Ltd., in Surrey, was also fined $2,500 for violations it committed when it conducted post-abatement demolition of a house.
WorkSafeBC inspected the site and observed vinyl flooring and drywall, both suspected asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), in the debris.
WorkSafeBC issued a stop-work order. Subsequent testing confirmed both the flooring and drywall as ACMs.
“The firm failed to ensure all hazardous materials had been safely contained or removed before beginning demolition work, a repeated and high-risk violation,” according to WorkSafeBC.
Sanus Environmental Services Ltd., in Vancouver, also face a fine of $1,250.
At its Vancouver worksite, the firm had performed pre-demolition asbestos abatement at a house, and issued a clearance letter indicating all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) had been removed.
However, when WorkSafeBC inspected the site, it observed that identified ACMs remained in the building, including bell and spigot joints, as well as dust and debris where drywall and grout had been removed.
Also, the construction paper and insulation were presumed to be cross-contaminated with asbestos fibres, and there was evidence that fibrelock had not been applied evenly on all surfaces.
“The firm failed to have a qualified person ensure that all hazardous materials had been safely contained or removed, a repeated violation,” according to WorkSafeBC.
Previously, Craig's Bakery Ltd., Onni Contracting Ltd., Tede Construction Ltd., Leader Hazmat Ltd., HLC Holdings Inc., Sunrick Development Ltd. and Angus Environmental were also fined over asbestos-related violations in the workplace.