WorkSafeBC is seeking jail time for contractor Arthur Moore

Jail term sought for asbestos violator

Contractor repeatedly exposed workers to hazardous materials, says WorkSafe BC.

A WorkSafe BC lawyer is seeking a jail sentence of six months to a year for a notorious demolition contractor who repeatedly exposed his unprotected workers to asbestos contamination.

Last year, Arthur Moore defied repeated orders from WorkSafe BC and then continued his Surrey-based asbestos and drywall removal business in violation of a B.C. Supreme Court injunction granted last August that indefinitely barred him from operating. He was found in contempt of court.

“Asbestos kills. It was the leading killer of workers in British Columbia in 2009, responsible for 44 per cent of deaths arising from employment,” said Scott Nielsen, who is representing WorkSafe BC in the case.

Nielsen asked the judge to consider weighing Moore’s sentence against the possibility that his contempt could result in the “eventual death of those he knowingly exposed to asbestos.”

WorkSafe BC inspectors found that Moore used teenagers as young as 14 to demolish asbestos-laden houses without providing them with any protection. He recruited young students in need of cash and hired recovering addicts from recovery houses in Surrey.

According to court evidence, Moore quoted low rates to demolish old houses – a fraction of the price charged by competitors who take required safety precautions when dealing with asbestos.

He claimed to take samples and get reports certifying buildings asbestos-free before demolition. But the hazardous material reports were forged, using letterhead stolen from legitimate labs, to hide the danger on his jobs.

Past employees testified they were told to “run away” if WorkSafe BC officers showed up at a work site.

Moore operated at least 15 job sites in Surrey, Richmond and Delta last fall, using names including Tri City Hazmat, Surrey Hazmat and Effective Contracting to skirt the injunction, according to court evidence.

He did not show up in court to defend himself at either the 2010 injunction hearing or the contempt proceedings. Repeated attempts to contact Moore have been unsuccessful.

Moore will be sentenced Jan. 24 for contempt of court.

Nielsen is hopeful some form of incarceration will be involved.

“The B.C. Court of Appeal indicated (he should get) a ‘severe response,'” he said.

“I think six to 12 months is probable. Maybe more.”

– with files from Jeff Nagel

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income owners in Lower Mainland

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only seven of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Most Read