Everyone knows that asbestos dust can be deadly. Are you sure that your workers are NEVER exposed to it? Here is what should be verified in order to preserve the lung health of your employees!
An asbestos problem remains
Even if the use of asbestos has dropped in the construction sector, it is still present in many buildings. Each year, hundreds of Canadians die of asbestos-related illnesses. Cancer is generally declared after many years, but there is reason to suspect that the current exposure will, unfortunately, perpetuate the problem.
Keep an open eye for asbestos spraying and lagging!
Pauline Bordeleau, Occupational Hygienist and Expert Advisor for the SPI Respiratory Protection division, explains that “recently, governments wanted to make companies aware of two potential asbestos sources that can impact their workers: asbestos spraying and lagging.
Spraying is a “mix of friable material applied using projection to cover a surface.” This method of applying asbestos was mostly used to protect ceilings.
Lagging is using a “heat-insulating material to cover an installation or equipment to avoid heat loss.” It is usually used to cover piping.
Quebec adopted new regulations concerning the safe use of asbestos (French only). Employers have until June 2015 to inspect their buildings and compile the information from these sources in a record. This document will then be updated to promote the diffusion of the right information.
In the rest of Canada, the registry system already exists in many provinces. Pauline Bordeleau reminds us “that in Ontario, all landlords must include the list of all elements containing asbestos and inform the occupant.”
The idea behind these censuses is not to entirely remove asbestos from buildings. Instead, we must be aware of its presence, take suitable precautions and implement corrective measures, if required.
Certain sectors are more at risk
If you are working in the demolition or renovation sectors, or the maintenance of buildings, your employees are more at risk of being exposed to hazardous asbestos fiber concentrations. Be all the more attentive toward asbestos spraying and lagging! Always check for its presence in a building that is not your own. The registry will allow you to have a trustworthy document to rely on.
“To ensure proper protection for your workers against different risk levels associated with asbestos, SPI offers a complete range of products and services: industrial hygiene, personal protective equipment and environment training,” explains Pauline Bordeleau. This will allow you to carry out a diagnosis and control the hazards!