WorkSafeBC has issued a work stoppage notice to the Libberock building on Argyle Street.
The former Canada Post building and soon-to-be home of the Salvation Army and all of its services, was issued the inspection notice on Aug. 16.
According to a WorkSafe BC inspection report, hazardous material such as asbestos and crystalline silica were identified in a hazardous materials survey of the Argyle Street building. A qualified person must ensure, and confirm in writing, that the hazardous materials identified are safely contained or removed before work can proceed.
Michael Sutherland, Libberock project manager, said the notice was given because of new WorkSafeBC legislation surrounding the removal of asbestos that he wasn’t aware changed.
“A quality control company comes in and they take a look around the site to assess to make sure that the procedures and the process that gets done to remove asbestos or hazardous material is done correctly,” Sutherland said. “That legislation changed while we were in the midsts of doing that work and that clearance letter wasn’t obtained from the consulting company.”
Sutherland said the letter doesn’t say there’s any issues with the building but that a clearance letter is needed prior to proceeding in any additional construction to the building.
“When WorkSafeBC came and said we needed a clearance letter, all of us that had done the training for that asbestos removal were shocked,” Sutherland said. “I went back to the office and started reading up on this legislation and that’s when we realized this was something that wasn’t contained in the training that we had received because there was a change in the legislation.”
The consulting company, Pinchin West, will be in the Libberock building doing assessments as soon as possible and Sutherland expects to be back at the work site within a week.
“As soon as they’re finished their assessment we’ll get right back to work,” Sutherland said.