White Rock highrise on hold after workers exhibit ‘severe’ overexposure symptoms

WorkSafeBC issued stop-work order at 1588 Johnston Rd. site on July 24

A stop-work order is in effect at a White Rock construction site after workers reported “severe signs and symptoms consistent with overexposure to airborne contaminants such as benzene.”

According to a WorkSafeBC Report, the symptoms presented in late July during excavation work at the 1588 Johnston Rd. site, and resulted in one worker sent to hospital.

The stop-work order was issued July 24. As of Friday morning (Aug. 14), signage remained posted and no work was underway.

Benzene, the report notes, is a carcinogen. Its presence at the site – which historically was home to a gas station – was identified in an environmental report that had been prepared by a third party consultant. That report stipulated that the soil be removed and remediated off-site.

Subcontractors working in the excavation exhibited symptoms “consistent with overexposure to hazardous substances” in the week prior to the WorkSafeBC inspection, prompting the employer to direct that all workers entering and working in the excavation wear additional equipment, including air-purifying respirators fitted with organic vapour cartridges, the report states.

“This employer made the decision to allow excavation work to continue,” the report continues, adding that real-time monitoring of airborne contaminants detected “a number of instances” of elevated readings.

It was determined that the employer had not developed and implemented an exposure control plan for benzene, as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

“Based on these facts, this officer determined that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the conditions on site posed a high risk of serious injury, illness, or death to workers at this workplace due to potential for overexposure to contaminants contained in the soil and the lack of effective controls in place,” the report states.

READ MORE: Highrise OK’d for White Rock’s Royal Plaza

White Rock council in May 2018 approved the development permit for a 26-storey mixed-use project at the site, which is located immediately north of the 23-storey Oceana PARC Retirement Living highrise. Plans include four levels of underground parking, plus a ‘mid-rise’ portion along North Bluff Road.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ConstructionEnvironmentWhite Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two dead in COVID-19 outbreak at Delta Hospital

Total of 10 patients and four staff in one unit have tested positive for COVID-19: Fraser Health

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

UPDATED: Surrey RCMP make multiple arrests after reports of fight in Newton

Huge police response to reports of fight, possibly a gun, in the area of 82nd Avenue east of Scott Road

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

Virtual challenge to benefit Delta-based guide dogs charity

Funds raised to help BC Alberta Guide Dogs provide people with free guide dogs, autism and PTSD service dogs

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

VIDEO: Mounties looking to catch Chilliwack bike-riding teen groper

Man caught on video slapping the backside of girl near CSS riding a bicycle

Most Read