Contractors who cut corners with asbestos put lives in danger. That’s the message from WorkSafeBC after the agency issued more asbestos-related stop work orders and fines in the first eight months of 2017 than in all of 2016. Preventing exposure today “will prevent the disease in the future,” said WorkSafeBC vice-president Al Johnson.
More than 600 British Columbian workers died from asbestos-related disease in the past decade. In 2016, more than one-third of the 164 construction deaths in B.C. stemmed from asbestos-related illness. Asbestos is set to be banned in Canada in 2018 but workers still face exposure as escalating property values have triggered a rash in home demolitions, Johnson noted.