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

 

 

 

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found a body in the 11300-block of Bridgeview Drive: Surrey RCMP

Surrey RCMP sees increase in reported robberies through ‘marketplace apps’

Police say there have been 13 reported incidents so far this year, compared to 5 in 2019

Compromise reached for South Surrey seniors’ balcony-exercise program

‘In these stressful times anyone that can spread a little joy should be praised not condemned’

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Limit gun capacity to five bullets, victims group urges Trudeau government

Current limits are generally five bullets for hunting rifles and shotguns and 10 for handguns.

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Most Read