Surrey environmental company fined $18k for asbestos violation

Two businesses were recently fined for failing to ensure employees used fall protection gear, while another two were recently fined for incomplete asbestos removals | Shutterstock

An environmental company was recently fined nearly $18,000 an incomplete asbestos assessment at a Burnaby worksite, according to WorkSafeBC.

CM Environmental, based in Surrey, is challenging the $17,787 fine, which it received after the firm did asbestos clearing work at a Burnaby site.

After issuing a letter indicating all asbestos-containing materials were removed, WorkSafeBC inspected the site and found drywall debris, a material identified as containing asbestos.

As well, WorkSafeBC found fibreglass insulation that may have been exposed to airborne asbestos during the firm’s work.

“The firm failed to ensure that identified hazardous materials were safely contained or removed, a repeated violation,” the WorkSafeBC website notes.

The fine was imposed on June 27, but was only recently published online. It was one of four recently posted fines from Burnaby worksites. Imposed in June and July, the four fines combine for a total of $27,787.

West Side Asbestos was issued a $2,500 fine, also for failing to fully clear a site of asbestos, contrary to a clearance letter issued by the firm.

Abian Roofing and Payless Painting were handed $5,000 and $2,500 fines respectively for failing to provide fall protection gear for workers on rooftops.

Payless Painting is also seeking a review of its penalty.

All were said by WorkSafeBC to be repeated violations, and all but CM Environmental’s violations were classified as high-risk.

According to the WorkSafeBC website, penalties are determined based on the nature of the violation, a company’s history with WorkSafeBC and the size of the company’s payroll – to deter future violations, a penalty should make a dent in the company’s bottom line.

High-risk or intentional violations and repeat violations can also increase the size of the penalty.

Burnaby Now