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7. Demolition, Alterations and Repairs

  • Issued: November 2007
  • 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.

The Regulation sets out the requirements related to the demolition, alteration and repair of a building including the responsibilities of an owner before tendering or arranging for demolition, alteration or repair of a building.

Are there any provisions in the Regulation related to demolition?

Demolition may only be carried out or continued when any ACM that may be disturbed has been removed to the extent practicable (subsection 6(1)).

Demolition work must not be prevented in situations where the work is required to gain access to the ACM that must be removed. In these cases the workers must be protected from the hazards (subsection 6(2)).

Does a building owner have responsibilities before tendering, contracting or arranging for demolition, alteration or repair of a building?

Yes. The owner must have an examination carried out to establish whether any material that is likely to be handled, dealt with, disturbed or removed, whether friable or non-friable, is ACM. For more information on examinations see Chapter 9 of this Guide.

The owner must have a report prepared that states whether the material is ACM, whether the work is to be performed as though it were ACM and in the case of sprayed on material, as though it contained a type of asbestos other than chrysotile. In addition the report must: describe the condition of the material; specify whether the material is friable or non-friable; and show the location of the material.

The owner must give any prospective constructor a copy of this report.

Where the owner is also the employer, he or she must give the notice required by subsection 10(8) to contractors and JHS Committees or health and safety representatives in the circumstances specified.

In the circumstances specified in subsection 10(10) the owner must also ensure that no work involving the handling or disturbing or removal of the material is performed unless it has been determined that the material is ACM or the work is performed in accordance with the Regulation as though the material were ACM.

Are examinations always required before tendering or arranging for work to be done?

No. An examination is not required if:

  • the owner already knows that the material is not ACM;
  • where the owner knows that the material is ACM, and, in the case of sprayed-on friable material, knows the type of asbestos; or
  • where the work is being arranged or contracted for in accordance with the Regulation as though the material is ACM, and, in the case of sprayed-on friable material, where the owner agrees to treat the material as though it contains a type of asbestos other than chrysotile.

Is the owner required to prepare a report prior to tendering or arranging for work?

Yes, the owner is required to have a report prepared, regardless of whether an examination is required or not. The owner must prepare a report that includes the following information:

  • whether the material is ACM or whether the work will be done in accordance with the Regulation as though the material is ACM, and, in the case of sprayed-on friable material, that it will be done as though the asbestos is of a type other than chrysotile;
  • a description of the condition of the material and whether it is friable or non-friable; and
  • drawings, plans and specifications, as appropriate, showing the location of the material at issue.

Who receives copies of this report?

The owner must give the report to all potential constructors. The constructor, in turn, must give the report to all potential contractors, and a contractor must give the report to all potential sub-contractors.

The information must be provided when the work is being arranged for, so that the costs of these regulatory obligations can be included in the bids and so that any other necessary measures/procedures can be implemented before the work begins.

What if the constructor or employer has started the work and material is found that may contain ACM but was not identified in the report?

The constructor or employer must immediately notify in writing and orally an MOL inspector at the office of the Ministry of Labour nearest the workplace; the building owner; the contractor and the JHSC or the health and safety representative.

Other than for the purposes of determining whether the material is ACM, no work must be done unless it is determined that the material is ACM or the work is performed in accordance with the Regulation as though the material is ACM or in the case of sprayed on material, as though it contained a type of asbestos other than chrysotile.

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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.