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Appendix 1 – Glossary

Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE SEE FULL DISCLAIMER

The Act
Occupational Health and Safety Act, Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990, Chapter O.1, as amended.
Actinolite
A mineral that is considered to be asbestos when it occurs in fibrous form.
Air samples
Samples collected by drawing a specified volume of air, in this case at least 2,400 litres of air, through specified sample filters.
Amosite
A type of asbestos that becomes airborne easily and is not easily wetted. The removal of insulation or other materials that contain amosite presents an increased risk of exposure to asbestos relative to the removal of chrysotile-containing material.
Analysis
Methods and procedures used to determine whether material is asbestos-containing material and for establishing its asbestos content and the type of asbestos it contains.
Anthophyllite
A type of mineral that is considered to be a form of asbestos when it occurs in fibrous form.
Asbestiform
A term used to describe certain silicate minerals that crystallize in fibres.
Asbestos
Any of the following asbestiform silicate minerals: actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, chrysotile, crocidolite and tremolite.
Asbestos bodies
Inhaled asbestos fibres that have become coated with a substance containing protein and iron; also called "ferruginous bodies".
Asbestos-containing material
Material that contains 0.5 per cent or more asbestos by dry weight; also called “ACM”.
Asbestos warts
Harmless skin growths that occur when asbestos fibres penetrate the skin.
Asbestosis
A chronic, restrictive lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres.
Building
Defined by the Regulation includes a structure, vault, chamber or tunnel and including (without limitation) its electrical, plumbing, heating and air handling equipment, including rigid duct work of a building or structure.
Bulk Material Samples
Representative samples of homogeneous building materials collected by a competent worker. The minimum number of samples to be collected from an area of homogeneous material is set out in Table 1.
Chrysotile
A type of asbestos mineral which was the type most commonly used in building construction.
Competent worker
A worker who is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to do the specific work, who is familiar with the Act and with the provisions of the Regulations that apply to the work, and who knows of all potential or actual danger to health or safety in the work.
Construction
Defined by the Act as including "erection, alteration, repair, dismantling, demolition, structural maintenance, painting, land clearing, earth moving, grading, excavating, trenching, digging, boring, drilling, blasting, or concreting, the installation of any machinery or plant, and any work or undertaking in connection with a project".
Constructor
Defined by the Act as "a person who undertakes a project for an owner and includes an owner who undertakes all or part of a project by himself or by more than one employer".
Crocidolite
A type of asbestos mineral.
Employer
Defined by the Act as "a person who employs one or more workers or contracts for the services of one or more workers. The term includes a contractor or subcontractor".
Friable material
Defined by the Regulation as a "material that when dry can be crumbled, pulverized or powdered by hand pressure and includes such material that is crumbled, pulverized or powdered".
HEPA filter
A high efficiency particulate aerosol filter that is at least 99.97 per cent efficient in collecting a 0.3 micrometre aerosol.
Mesothelioma
A rare cancer arising from the surface-lining cells of the pleura and peritoneum.
Negative air
A term used to refer to the system of air filtration used for controlling airborne asbestos at asbestos removal projects through the maintenance of lower air pressure on the inside of an enclosure than exists on the outside.
Non-friable material
Material that cannot be crumbled pulverized or powdered by hand pressure.
Occupier
The term “occupier” has the same meaning as in the Occupiers' Liability Act and includes a person who is in physical possession of premises, or a person who has responsibility for and control over the condition of premises or the activities carried on in the premises, or control over persons allowed to enter the premises, despite the fact that there is more than one occupier of the same premise.
Owner
Defined by the Act as including a "trustee, receiver, mortgagee in possession, tenant, lessee, or occupier of any lands or premises used or to be used as a workplace, and a person who acts for or on behalf of an owner as an agent or delegate".
Peritoneum
Lining of the abdominal cavity and organs.
Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM)
The least expensive and most widely used method of analyzing air samples for asbestos. PCM can be less accurate than Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) because all fibres, in the sample, regardless of type, are counted.
Pleura
Membrane lining the chest cavity and lungs.
Pleural plaques
Areas of fibrous tissue that may calcify or harden; they are not generally associated with disease.
Project
The Act defines a project as a construction project, including, but not limited to, the construction of a building, bridge, structure, industrial establishment, mining plant, shaft, tunnel, caisson, trench, excavation, highway, railway, street, runway, parking lot, cofferdam, conduit, sewer, water main, service connection, telegraph, telephone or electrical cable, pipeline, duct or well, or any combination thereof, the moving of a building or structure, and any work or undertaking or any lands or appurtenances used in connection with construction. Appurtenances are things associated with construction.
Surfactant (Surface-active agent)
A substance that reduces the surface tension of water, allowing it to spread over the surface of a material and to penetrate it more easily, e.g., a detergent.
Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
A more expensive and more accurate analytical method for determining the concentration of asbestos, TEM can distinguish asbestos fibres from non-asbestos fibres.
Tremolite
A mineral that is considered to be asbestos when it occurs in fibrous form.
Ventilation System
A system of ductwork, fans, filters and heating and cooling units that supplies, exhausts and conditions air in a work area.
Worker
Defined by the Act as a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation but does not include an inmate of a correctional institution or a similar institution or facility who participates in a work project or rehabilitation program.

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