Asbestos Removal – In BC, The Punishment Fits The Crime

An asbestos removal contractor has been barred from the industry by the B.C. Supreme Court after being issued literally hundreds of orders for breaking the rules.

The Story
Seattle Environmental and related companies owned by Mike Singh have operated in the Lower Mainland area of greater Vancouver for several years. The court found the company had breached workplace safety laws more than 20 times, at 11 different work sites, between 2013 and 2017.
Among the specific details:

  • The company did not make sure that workers wore full-face respirators when working with asbestos.
  • The company did not test for airborne asbestos while crucial work was being completed.
  • The company failed to seal the containers that held asbestos waste.

In at least two cases, the court found reasonable grounds that Singh had fraudulently issued documents known as “clearance letters”. These should be issued when an area has been verifiably cleared of asbestos. By issuing them before the asbestos was gone, it meant unprotected workers were being let back onto the site.

The Road to Justice
WorkSafe B.C. has been on the case for almost 10 years, writing more than 230 orders against Singh and his companies. It took until 2012 for the agency to get an order from the B.C. Supreme court ordering Singh to comply with the regulation. Previous charges include contempt of court when Singh simply ignored previous court orders. In total, Singh and his firms have been fined nearly $635,000 since 2010.

Singh and his lawyers argued that his companies were being unfairly targeted, but the judge wasn’t having any of it. The ruling means that Singh cannot carry out any asbestos removal work as of April 15, 2019 for an indefinite term. The judge was clear on the issues in her 177-page ruling.

“Seattle is responsible for repeated and egregious breaches of the (Workers Compensation) Act and regulation, including significant failures to properly dispose of asbestos waste, to ensure adequate containment during high-risk work and to provide safe supervision of workers.”

Choose Wisely – Choose GS
At GreenStream, we welcome any efforts by regulators to weed out the bad apples in the industry. A cavalier attitude towards health and safety regulations hurts not just your employees, but neighbours and anyone else in the area where an unsafe job site exists.

Asbestos dust can travel with the wind, and once it is inhaled, it never leaves your lungs. Decades later, it can result in a host of respiratory issues, including cancers and deadly mesothelioma.

If you have asbestos in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.