Arthur Moore was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday after ignoring court orders that he stop demolition work after failing to provide protective gear for his workers while they handled asbestos.
“Thankfully, at least one time in all the time I’ve been in this province, an employer is going to jail for basically giving the death sentence to a whole lot of workers,” said B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair.
However, Sinclair believes the punishment was too light.
“The system is still fundamentally broken,” Sinclair said. “[Moore] should have been charged with criminal neglect as soon as he did it.”
Moore would repeatedly expose his workers to asbestos knowingly, often hiring recovering addicts as young as 14 years of age. He would run his business under several names, including AM Environmental, Tri City Hazmat, Surrey Hazmat, Pro Scan Environmental and others.
“This is going to be a pretty rare opportunity to see an employer that does this type of stuff actually go to jail for what he is doing,” said Lee Loftus, spokesman for the B.C. and Yukon Building and Construction Trades Council.
Asbestos is a harmful mineral that can lead to several illnesses once its fibers are breathed in, such as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lungs, heart and chest. It can take up to 50 years to develop, making it extremely difficult to both diagnose and treat. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma.
There are strict safety standards when working with asbestos and those in violation will incur strict penalties. If you or someone you know has been exposed to asbestos or is suffering with mesothelioma, turn to a leading mesothelioma attorney for help.
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