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B.C. companies rack up $3M in WorkSafeBC fines

By Tyler Orton, 24 Hours Vancouver

Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini (right). (FILE PHOTO)

Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini (right). (FILE PHOTO)

Sending untrained workers to investigate a ruptured gas line and sticking employees inside asbestos-laden buildings were among the most egregious violations committed by Metro Vancouver companies in 2012, leading WorkSafeBC to levy fines totalling $2.9 million.

Out of the 260 penalties imposed by the province’s workers compensation board on 225 employers last year, the most severe went to Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini and his business partners, Roberto Aquilini and Elisa Aquilini.

The trio had to forfeit $125,277 for failing to maintain the “safe operating condition” of a vehicle used to transport workers at their Pitt Meadows berry farm.

Part of the reason behind the heavy penalty was because of repeated violations by the Aquilinis, according to WorkSafeBC.

Despite the severity of the penalty imposed on the Canucks owner, Surrey-based company Chiman Homes received only a $3,250 fine when one of its employees died after falling from a second-storey balcony while performing overnight security duties by himself.

WorkSafeBC said Chiman Homes didn’t have guardrails installed to prevent the worker from falling and didn’t have checks in place to monitor the watchman’s well being while he was alone.

Despite the Aquilinis being given the single biggest penalty, Skylite Building Maintenance racked up three violations — all of which involved exposing employees to asbestos — for a total of $227,500 in fines.

Penalties are based on both the severity of the violation and the size of the company involved.


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