WorkSafeBC conducting asbestos enforcement blitz

As part of the 2014 construction high-risk strategy, WorkSafeBC is conducting an enforcement initiative aimed at reducing occupational disease and death caused by exposure to asbestos in residential demolition work sites.
Asbestos-related lung diseases are preventable, and yet, asbestos remains the single largest occupational killer in British Columbia. With proper planning and oversight of work, the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres in the residential demolition industry can be reduced or eliminated, said WorkSafeBC.

WorkSafeBC prevention officers will conduct planned inspections of single-family demolition work sites from March through December 2014 to ensure homeowners, prime contractors, hazardous material survey contractors, asbestos abatement contractors, and consultants are informed and equipped to safely remove asbestos containing materials and are complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. The requirement for adequate planning and supervision of hazardous material surveys and high-risk asbestos removal will be emphasized during these planned inspections.

Every employer, owner/builder, agent, or property manager must:

• plan and supervise all activities on the work site to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres
• have a qualified person inspect the site to identify any asbestos that may be handled, disturbed, or removed
• ensure all asbestos containing material is properly removed and disposed of by trained and qualified asbestos removal workers before demolition, renovation, or salvage work begins
• submit a notice of project for asbestos (NOPA) to WorkSafeBC at least 24 hours before asbestos removal, demolition, renovation or salvage work begins
• after removing the asbestos, retain written confirmation that the asbestos specified for removal on the NOPA has been properly removed.