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

Grieving mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Stay home, cats – only pet dogs are OK to attend ‘Cat Walk’ at Surrey park

Surrey Community Cat Coalition’s second annual fundraiser planned Saturday

White Rock’s Mueller wins World Series of Poker bracelet

Third career WSOP win for former professional hockey player

Surrey high school teacher receives Loran award

First ever to be given to Surrey teacher, district says

ZYTARUK: Canal isn’t Surrey’s first ‘different’ idea

Anyone up for waterskiing in Doug’s Ditch?

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Most Read

l -->