Three B.C. firms have each received a $20,000 fine for asbestos-related violations
Three firms based in British Columbia have each been fined $20,000 following asbestos-related violations.
Construction firm Leopard Environmental was conducting asbestos abatement at a house up for demolition in Surrey. WorkSafeBC visited the worksite and found several deficiencies relating, among other things, to uncontained asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Following their visit, WorkSafeBC issued a stop-work order. Leopard Environmental received a fine for failing to: ensure the containment had proper ventilation; adequately secure openings to prevent the release of asbestos fibre, dust and debris to other work areas; effectively wet ACMs before removal; and ensure that all asbestos waste was placed into sealed containers, and properly sealed.
With regards to workers, the firm failed to provide them with information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety, and take all the necessary precautions to protect workers before allowing work that would disturb ACMs, according to WorkSafeBC. These were repeated violations, as well as all high-risk violations.
In a similar situation, also in Surrey, First Choice Environmental was fined $20,000 after an inspection from WorkSafeBC at a house at which the firm had conducted pre-demolition asbestos abatement. WorkSafeBC inspected the site and found uncontained debris from textured coat – a material which potentially contains ACM – on the ground outside the house. Initially misidentified, it was confirmed later to be an ACM. Following confirmation, WorkSafeBC issued a stop-work order. First Choice Environmental was fined for, among other things, failing to identify representative samples of potentially hazardous materials.
Lastly, in another similar situation, construction firm IR Inspect Ltd. was fined $20,000 after WorkSafeBC found deficiencies while the firm was conducting asbestos abatement at a house planned for demolition at a work site in Vancouver. During an inspection of the site, WorkSafeBC found that there were breaches in the containment as well as unsealed vent openings. Not the only issue found, it also found deficiencies related to proper decontamination procedures, air sampling, respirator fit tests and airflow checks, as well as testing of HEPA filters for the negative air unit and vacuum cleaners. Following these findings, WorkSafeBC issued a stop-work order. WorkSafeBC found that IR Inspect Ltd. did not take necessary precautions to protect workers before they did work that would disturb ACMs, and did not provide them with information, instruction, supervision and training necessary to ensure their health and safety – all repeated and high-risk violations.