B.C. asbestos removal company faces contempt of court hearing
Seattle Environmental Consulting Ltd. accused of breaching court order on violating workplace regulations
An asbestos-removal company is in court starting Monday to face accusations it repeatedly exposed its workers to the deadly construction material.
Labour organizations in British Columbia are calling for jail time against Seattle Environmental Consulting Ltd. director Mike Singh and his son Shawn Singh.
The B.C. Federation of Labour and the B.C. Insulators Union have released a statement saying the two men breached court orders on multiple occasions demanding that they not violate workplace regulations.
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Court filings from WorkSafeBC allege the violations have taken place since a 2013 B.C. Supreme Court decision, which fined the company and the Singhs $15,000.
B.C. Insulators Union spokesman Lee Loftus says jail time is appropriate when workplace safety rules are violated not just once but repeatedly.
"It is intolerable that with asbestos being the leading cause of workplace deaths in B.C., that any contractor can violate worker health and safety regulations repeatedly and not face serious consequences," said Loftus in a release.
He says the union has seen hundreds of members die from asbestos-caused mesothelioma and other cancers due to exposure on the jobs.
"We want to see the B.C. Supreme Court set a strong example that workplace health and safety laws and regulations must not be violated," he added.
Asbestos is a substance traditionally used as a building insulator.