The Vernon District has been fined over 628 thousand dollars by WorkSafeBC.
School Superintendent Joe Rogers says it has to do with a building the District leased for the new Open Door Learning Centre at 3303 30th Street
The building had been renovated.
” And we were led to believe that there was no issue with any asbestos at that site, but during the renovations when we were putting in offices, etc we did come across some asbestos”
WorkSafe says the district didn’t do its due diligence.
Joe Rogers says the District disagrees and believes because since the building is owned by someone else it shouldn’t have to pay that level of penalty.
He says WorkSafe issued the higher fine based on the district’s full staff of 850 employees.
” Rather than just the few employees that worked in that site. So we believe that we have a good argument through our lawyers to just be a location violation which is only a one or two thousand dollar fine.”
No workers have reported any health effect.
In a prepared statement, the district says it and all its employees take worker and student safety extremely seriously.
The District has developed and implemented a comprehensive and fully compliant asbestos management program and asbestos exposure control plan, has retained a qualified person to conduct asbestos surveys, hazard assessments and prepare inventories of all asbestos containing materials in all buildings operated by the District, and has undertaken comprehensive asbestos training of its maintenance