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3. Overview of the Regulation

  • Issued: November 2007
  • Updated: May 2011
  • Content last reviewed: May 2011

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.

This Regulation differs from the Designated Substances Regulation, O. Reg. 490/09 by prescribing the methods and procedures that are to be used to protect workers rather than prescribing exposure limits.

Definition of Asbestos and Asbestos-Containing Material

The Regulation defines asbestos as any of six fibrous silicates named in subsection 1(2) of the Regulation. In addition, it defines asbestos-containing material, also known as ACM, as material that contains 0.5 per cent or more asbestos by dry weight.

Application of the Regulation

The application of the Regulation is discussed in Chapter 4.

Analysis of ACM

The Regulation requires that U.S. EPA Test Method EPA/600/R-93/116 be used to determine:

  • whether a material is ACM,
  • the type of asbestos in the material, and
  • the content of asbestos in the material.

Table 1 of the Regulation sets out the minimum number of bulk material samples to be collected from an area of homogeneous material based on the area and type of material. If it is established that a bulk material sample contains 0.5 per cent or more asbestos by dry weight, it is not necessary to analyze other bulk material samples from the same area and the entire homogeneous material from which the sample was taken should be deemed to be ACM.

Restrictions on Sprayed Material, Thermal Insulation and Application of Sealants

Material that contains 0.1 per cent or more asbestos by dry weight must not be applied by spraying if the material can become friable. In addition, material that contains 0.1 or more per cent asbestos by dry weight must not be used as thermal insulation if it can become friable.

Subsection 4(3) of the Regulation prohibits the application of a liquid sealant to friable ACM under certain conditions.

Asbestos Management Programs in Buildings

An important part of the Regulation deals with the requirement for asbestos management programs in buildings. These provisions which specify an owner's duties regarding asbestos management are dealt with in detail in Chapter 8.

The asbestos management program will include both friable and non-friable ACM. The requirements of the asbestos management program are set out in section 8 of the Regulation.

Demolitions, Alterations and Repairs

Before requesting tenders or arranging or contracting for the demolition, alteration or repair work to be carried out on a building, machinery, equipment, aircraft, locomotive, railway car, ship or vehicle, the owner must determine if any friable or non-friable material that is likely to be handled, dealt with, disturbed or removed during the work meets the definition of ACM or else treat it as if it does in accordance with this Regulation.

Notification

There are several circumstances which require a constructor or employer to give written and oral notice to a Ministry of Labour inspector at the office nearest the workplace, as well as the owner, contractor and the joint health and safety committee (JHSC) or health and safety representative. These include:

Notice to all parties:

  • discoveries of material not referred to in the owner's report that may be ACM during the course of demolition, alteration or repair of machinery, equipment, or a building, aircraft, locomotive, railway car, vehicle or ship.

Notice to Ministry of Labour inspector:

  • before beginning any Type 3 operation, and
  • before beginning a glove bag operation in which one square metre or more of insulation is to be removed.

Notice to the JHSC or Health and Safety Representative:

  • variations from methods and procedures set out in the Regulation.

Classification

The Regulation requires that all work that may expose a worker to asbestos be classified as a Type 1, Type 2, or Type 3 operation. The procedures for carrying out Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 operations are outlined in sections 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 of the Regulation.

Glove Bag Operations

All glove bag operations (such as the removal of insulation that is ACM from a pipe or duct or similar structure) are now defined as Type 2 operations by paragraph 9 of section 12(3). The Ministry of Labour must be notified of glove bag removal operations involving the removal of one square metre or more of insulation.

Respirators

In the Regulation, section 13 sets out the general requirements for respirators while Table 2 lists the required types of respirators for specific Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 operations.

Enclosures

The Regulation sets out the requirements for enclosures where enclosures are used for some Type 2 and Type 3 operations.

Clearance Air Testing

The Regulation requires that clearance air testing be carried out inside the enclosures used on indoor Type 3 operations described in paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 of subsection 12(4) in buildings that will not be demolished.

Training

Training for all workers who carry out asbestos operations must be delivered by a "competent person", as defined by the Act. These training requirements are set out in section 19.

In addition, any worker or supervisor who works in a Type 3 operation must successfully complete the Asbestos Abatement Worker Training Program or the Asbestos Abatement Supervisor Program approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. These training requirements are set out in section 20. Training is discussed in more detail in Chapter 10 of this Guide.

Asbestos Work Reports

Section 21 sets out the requirement for an asbestos work report which must be completed at least once in each 12 month period for each worker involved in Type 2 or Type 3 operations or upon termination of employment. The report must be submitted to the Provincial Physician of the Ministry of Labour. Each worker must be given a copy of his or her own report. Form 1, the Asbestos Work Report, is available from each local Ministry of Labour office.

Asbestos Register

Section 22 requires the Provincial Physician to establish an Asbestos Workers Register using the data obtained from Asbestos Work Reports submitted by employers. This section also deals with the requirements for voluntary medical surveillance of asbestos-exposed workers on the recommendation of the Provincial Physician.

Use of Equivalent Measures and Procedures

Section 23 allows employers or constructors to vary from the methods and procedures required by the Regulation provided that the varied method or procedure provides protection for the health and safety of workers that is at least equal to the protection that would be provided by adhering to the specific measures and/or procedures specified in the Regulation. The joint health and safety committee(s) or the health and safety representative in a workplace must be notified of the changes.

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Disclaimer: This web resource has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.

It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This web resource does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.

While this web resource will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This web resource does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.