standards and procedures for handling and removing building
materials with asbestos content are likely to come into force
expected that sometime next year the provincial government
will implement a number of changes apply to the handling of
asbestos materials on construction and renovation projects,
said Thornton, vice president of Pinchin Environmental for
going to have a big impact on you if you operate buildings,”
Thomas told a seminar on trends in environmental health and
safety regulations in the building industry.
if you have to have surveys done,
or if you are having any of of renovation done, it’s
going to impact on you.”
proposed changes apply to what is commonly known as Regulation
838, the Regulation Respecting Asbestos on Construction
Projects and in Building and Repair Operation.
ministry of Labour press release says proposed amendments to
Regulation 838 “would update safe-work procedures and
enhance respiratory protection for workers who may encounter
asbestos in the course of their work on construction projects,
and in demolition, repair, alterations and maintenance
implemented, Ontario’s new asbestos-handling specifications
will apply to the residential and ICI construction sectors.
other changes, the new regulation lowers the threshold at
which building materials are deemed to contain asbestos.
materials with asbestos content of .5 percent or more are
defined as containing asbestos. Under the new regulation, that
level would drop to .1 per cent or more.
problem with that is there are some products out there
installed in the 1970s and 1980s, that everybody assumed were
non-asbestos, that will fall into this new definition of .1
percent,” Thomas said.
among the building materials that will be effected under the
proposed new standard will be drywall dating from the 1970s
said that up until about the mid 1980s, there was a particular
compound commonly used as a bond between the layers of drywall
or gypsum board which contained asbestos.
now, removal of that drywall is a Type 1 procedure of asbestos
removal where you don’t need a respirator while you do
it,” Thomas said.
the new regulation, removing this drywall will be a Type 2
level of asbestos removal, requiring workers to respirators
and protective suits.
is a pretty significant thing when you think about the amount
of simple gypsum board or drywall in partition and demolition
work,” Thomas said. “This is going to survive into the
revised regulation because this is the way they do things
right now in British Columbia, Alberta and some of the
significant change involves the introduction of mandatory
air-monitoring tests after all Type 3 asbestos removal jobs.
3 asbestos removal requires workers to wear respirators
providing high levels of protection. Depending on the nature
of the job, Type 3 asbestos removal may also require air
supplied from outside the work area, protective enclosures
(usually plastic tents) and a decontamination shower for
now, there is no air testing required. Now, they are going to
require it for Type 3 jobs and that’s going to increase
costs,” Thomas said.
air monitoring also has implications for job scheduling
because Type 3 asbestos removal is commonly done on weekends,
when many buildings are empty of employees.
you need all that time to complete a (weekend) job. Now, if
you have to take an extra six or eight hours to do this air
testing you didn’t have to do before, that can really impact
your schedule,” Thomas said.
said the consultation period for the new specifications in
Regulation 838 has ended and while the government has not said
exactly when it will take effect, it’s expected to be
sometime in 2005.
the same seminar, Steve Barnett, a principal with Pinchin
Environmental, said the Ministry of Labour is in the midst of
a hiring spree of workplace inspectors.
Labour Ministry added approximately 100 health and safety
inspectors is to reduce workplace injuries by 20 per cent by
2008 through aggressive enforcement,” Barnett said.
ministry’s stated plan is to target the approximately 6,000
Ontario companies that have about two percent of the
province’s workforce, yet which record about 10 per cent of
all workplace injuries occurring in the province.
on this list can expect an increase in visits from workplace
safety inspectors until they improve their health and safety
systems and their incidence of workplace injuries starts
dropping, Barnett said.
if you have a good health and safety record, there is now
double the chance of an inspection of your workplace. It
really means there is more emphasis on, and its more important
to have a good effective health and safety management
system..” Barnett said.