WorkSafeBC to appeal decision favouring asbestos-removal company

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's Workers' Compensation Board is appealing a B.C. Supreme Court decision that threw out allegations that an asbestos-removal contractor and his son disobeyed a court order to comply with safety laws.

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WorkSafeBC says it will ask the province's appeal court to reconsider the judgment, which union leaders say threatens to undermine the province's entire regulatory regime.

Seattle Environmental Consulting Ltd., owner Mike Singh and his son Shawn Singh face hundreds of workplace violations dating back to 2007, with fines exceeding $200,000.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice George Macintosh dismissed a court order against the pair last week, saying the Workers' Compensation Act is too difficult to understand.

Provincial labour leaders immediately condemned the judgment, saying it risked neutering B.C.'s workplace-safety regulations by concluding that if the law is too complex it shouldn't be followed.

B.C. Federation of Labour head Irene Lanzinger said companies with expertise in a given field have a responsibility to know the laws that govern their work.



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