3:20 -

RiskCheck - Asbestos Compliance

Hazmat Services at RiskCheck – Asbestos

The government of Canada recently made moves aimed at stopping the manufacture, import, use and sale of the material entirely, banning it completely in Canada.

Business owners, property managers and developers are regularly faced with safely removing Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) in order to keep their properties safe, reduce risk, and maintain compliance. That’s where RiskCheck comes in.

 

First, let’s break it down for you:

What is Asbestos? 

Asbestos is a group of materials that at one time were seen as the solution to a whole host of construction material issues. Asbestos is heat and corrosion resistant, which made it a great choice for construction material components in the past. Asbestos has been used in insulation materials, floor tiles, building materials, vehicle brakes and clutches, and more.

Unfortunately, Asbestos was found to cause serious damage to humans if inhaled and handled incorrectly. The highest risk of heavy exposures to Asbestos tend to occur in construction, particularly during the renovation, repairs and/or demos that happen during renovations of properties or buildings.

Why is it Dangerous?

Asbestos is well recognized as a health hazard and its use is now highly regulated by both OSHA and EPA – exposures to these types of materials can be very dangerous. When disrupted, Asbestos fibers enter the air and as they are too small to be seen by the naked eye, are often inhaled by workers or people in close proximity to the material.

If inhaled, Asbestos fibers can cause a build up of scar-like tissue in the lungs called asbestosis, and can result in very serious injury to the lungs, loss of function, disability and even death. Asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, both of which are terrible diseases and can lead to death. Airborne asbestos fibres can remain latent for 15 to 35 years from exposure before symptoms start to manifest.

In short – it’s a very dangerous material and if it’s itenditifed on a property, has to be managed and abated safely and correctly to comply with legislation and to keep everyone safe.

More about the requirements surrounding Asbestos in Canada:

 Asbestos Regulatory Requirements:

  • Asbestos and Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) are regulated under each province’s health and safety regulations or workplace guidelines .
  • Regulations apply to building owners/owner of the project, and any constructor, employer (contractors and subcontractors) or worker who works in or on the property or project – basically EVERYONE.
  • It is typically the Building Owner’s responsibility to ensure that an asbestos assessment has been completed for the building and, if ACM are identified, to implement an Asbestos Management Plan (AMP). 

Let’s break it down even further and help answer:
What am I responsible for when it comes to asbestos and my business?

 

 Owner, Occupier or Property Management:

  • Required to identify any potential or suspected ACM on their property. This can be completed with an Asbestos Assessment
  • Any building with  ACM present requires an Asbestos Management Planwhich documents regulatory information, work procedures, previous reports, notification documents, worker training and roles and responsibilities.
  • Any building with ACM present is required to undergo an AsbestosReassessment to update the condition and quantity of ACM onsite over specified intervals (or after significant renovations/asbestos removal) .
    • In Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan reassessments are required every 12 months.
    •  In British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island reassessments are required over regular, periodic and reasonable intervals, this  recommended interval is every 12 months.
    • In Quebec, it is required to complete  reassessments every 24 months.
  • The owner must keep a written record of the location and condition of all ACM onsite, all documentation is to be incorporated into the onsite AMP.
  • If any ACM is damaged an Asbestos Abatement is required to repair the ACM to good condition or to remove it.

 

 Contractor and/or Development Team:

  • An Asbestos Abatement will be required prior to any demolition or major renovation activities that will impact ACM.
  • All workers whose activities may impact ACM in the work area must haveAsbestos Awareness Training

 

 Employer:

  • Employers are required to notify any building occupants/workers of any identified ACM within their work area.  If the work activities occur in an area containing ACM or where they could impact the ACM, they must also provide Asbestos Awareness Training.

 

Contact RiskCheck today to learn more about how we can help you manage risk and stay compliant when it comes to hazardous materials and Asbestos. 

RiskCheck’s Asbestos Services Include:
  • Asbestos Assessment
  • Asbestos Management Plan
  • Asbestos Reassessment
  • Asbestos Abatement Specifications/Bid Forms
  • Asbestos Abatement Inspections, Contractor Management and Air Monitoring
  • Designated Substances Surveys/Hazardous Building Materials Surveys (Asbestos is a component of these surveys)
  • Asbestos Awareness Training

Additional Resources: Canada.ca, CCOHS.ca, CBC.ca