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Labour groups call for licence to remove asbestos

Last Updated Nov 23, 2019 at 9:21 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

Labour groups are concerned about potential health risks of asbestos

BC Insulators Union, points out other jurisdictions like Washington State require licences for these firms

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Companies which remove asbestos should require a licence in order to do business.

That’s the call labour groups are making to the provincial government.

The groups point to the effects of asbestos exposure, which they say are horrifying.

In B.C., asbestos is the leading cause to workplace deaths, with 47 deaths from asbestos recorded in the workplace last year, according to BC Federation of Labour.

In Vancouver last week, H & B Construction Inc. received a four-stop order from the Workers Compensation Board.

The company received the order for reports of, “workers removing asbestos-contaminated material from a house being demolished without adequately protecting themselves or nearby residents,” according to a BC Federation of Labour report.

“The asbestos removal business is simply out of control and it is critical that the BC government immediately move to license all asbestos removal and consulting firms so workers and residents lives are not being put at risk,” Neil Munro, with the BC Insulators Union says.

“The flagrant violations happening across the province demand that action be taken to save lives from exposure to deadly asbestos.”

Neil says the province needs to step in.

“There is unscrupulous contractors that are putting young people to work without proper safe guards in place and endangering workers, endangering just regular citizens,” he told NEWS 1130.

Munro points out Washington State, Oregon and Britain require licenses for firms doing this work in their jurisdictions.