B.C. seeking feedback on reducing asbestos exposure

More workers have died from asbestos-related diseases than any other workplace injury

The British Columbia government has released a report that includes draft recommendations on ways to reduce exposure to asbestos and protect workers, homeowners, the public and the environment from the dangers of asbestos. Members of the public are asked to provide feedback until Feb. 15 on the ideas outlined in the report.


“We need to do more to keep people and our environment safe from the deadly consequences of exposure to asbestos,” said Minister of Labour Harry Bains. “There’s a wide range of actions we can take to improve how asbestos is handled and disposed of in B.C. that will better protect workers and citizens, and I look forward to hearing from people what we should prioritize.”


The report identifies a range of concerns about the current handling and disposal of asbestos. Specifically, the government is asking for input and expertise on the following: a licensing or certification requirement for contractors, consultants and surveyors; options for increasing capacity for the disposal of materials within B.C.; opportunities to create provincially recognized standards and programs for the training of asbestos abatement workers; and opportunities to create an incentive-based program to encourage safe asbestos removal practices from buildings.


Since 2000, more workers have died from asbestos-related occupational diseases in the province than any other workplace injury, and the rate of occupational disease associated with asbestos is on the rise, the government said. The majority of these fatalities are due to workplace exposures to asbestos 20 or more years ago, when it was still being used in building materials.


For more information or to provide feedback, visit http://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/asbestos-practices-phase-two/.