Table of Contents | Print This Page

8. Ongoing Asbestos Management

  • 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 obligations of the building owner are set out in sections 8 and 10 of the Regulation. Section 8 deals with the ongoing management of asbestos in buildings. Section 10 sets out the requirements that an owner must fulfil before tendering, contracting or arranging for demolition, alteration or repair of all or part of machinery, equipment or a building, aircraft, locomotive, railway car, vehicle or ship.

This chapter is confined to those obligations specified in section 8 that relate to ongoing asbestos management.

If the owner is also the employer, then he or she must perform other duties specified in the Regulation in specified circumstances.

Examination of Building Materials

The Regulation sets out two situations where a building owner may have to have the material examined to determine if it is ACM. These are addressed in section 8 and in section 10 of the Regulation. As stated above, this chapter is confined to those obligations specified in section 8.

As a building owner am I required to examine material that has fallen and that may be asbestos?

Yes. Subsection 8(8) requires that even where no work is being done to a building, if friable material used as fireproofing or acoustical or thermal insulation has fallen and is being disturbed, all work involving the material must cease and the owner must have the material examined as set out in section 3 in order to determine whether it is ACM.

If the owner decides to treat the material as though it is ACM, an examination is not required. However, sprayed-on friable material must be treated as though it contains a type of asbestos other than chrysotile.

What is meant by "is being disturbed?"

It is the Ministry's position that being disturbed refers to any activity that may result in the release of fibres into the air.

What must the owner do with the fallen material?

If the material is ACM or will be treated as though it is ACM, the owner must have the fallen material cleaned up and removed. If it is readily apparent that the material will continue to fall the owner must repair, seal, remove or permanently enclose the material. This is not required if the fallen material is confined to the area above a closed false ceiling that is not part of a return air plenum.

Asbestos Management Programs in Buildings

Section 8 of the Regulation requires asbestos management programs in various circumstances such as when an owner knows or ought reasonably to know of the presence of friable and non-friable ACM in a building and when an owner may also choose to treat friable and non-friable material that has been used in a building for any purpose related to the building as though it is ACM.

When is an asbestos management program required?

Asbestos management programs are required in numerous situations such as when:

  • the owner of a building knows or ought reasonably to know or has been informed by an employer of workers in the building that material that has been used in the building for any purpose related to the building is ACM;
  • the owner decides to treat material that has been used in the building for any purpose related to the building as ACM;
  • an examination of the material determines or would have determined if carried out that the material is ACM; or
  • a constructor or employer notifies the owner of a building of the discovery of material that may be ACM and that was not referred to in the report required by subsection 10(4).

What does an asbestos management program include?

An asbestos management program must include provisions for:

  • preparing a record containing the location and condition of ACM and other material that may be ACM or is treated as if it were ACM in specified circumstances; whether said material is friable or non-friable; in the case of sprayed on material the type of asbestos (if known) or a statement that the material will be treated as though it contained a type of asbestos other than chrysotile (in any other case).
  • the report must be updated at least once every 12 months and whenever the owner becomes aware of new information;
  • inspections of ACM mentioned in the record at reasonable intervals;
  • examination of friable material used in a building as fireproofing or thermal or acoustical insulation that has fallen and is being disturbed so that exposure is likely to occur unless the work at issue is being carried out as though the material were ACM; and, in the case of sprayed-on friable material, as though it contains a type of asbestos other than chrysotile;
  • written notification to workers, occupiers, and employers of the relevant information in the record in specified circumstances;
  • training of workers regarding hazards of asbestos exposure; use, care and disposal of protective equipment and clothing, personal hygiene, and the measures and procedures described in the Regulation;
  • cleanup of fallen ACM or fallen friable material treated as ACM and
  • removal, sealing or enclosure of deteriorated material if the material is established as ACM or treated as though it were ACM where it is readily apparent that it will continue to fall unless the fallen material is confined to an area that is above a closed false ceiling and not part of a return air plenum.

Asbestos Record

The owner must prepare and keep on the premises a record of the condition and location of all ACM or material that will be treated as if it were ACM and whether the material is friable or non-friable. In the case of friable sprayed-on ACM the report must state what type of asbestos the material contains, or it must contain a statement that the material will be treated as though it contains a type of asbestos other than chrysotile.

Inspection of Material

The owner must have the material mentioned in the record inspected at regular intervals to determine its condition, and must update the record at least once in each 12 month period and whenever the owner becomes aware of new information relating to matters the record deals with.

Sprayed-on insulation is usually the most significant source of airborne asbestos fibres. Indicators of poor condition include debris on horizontal surfaces, hanging material, dislodged chunks, scrapings, indentations and cracks. Since water can dislodge, delaminate or otherwise disturb the insulation, insulated areas should be inspected for visible signs of water damage. On pipe and boiler insulation, protective jackets prevent fibre release. It is recommended that inspections should therefore concentrate on checking the protective jacket for damage and the condition of the unjacketed joints and elbows.

Notification of Occupiers

The owner must give the occupiers of the building written notice of any information in the record that relates to the areas they occupy.

An occupier who receives a notice about ACM, or material that will be treated as ACM, and that is located in the area they occupy, must notify his or her workers and establish a training program for them.

Notification of Employers

The owner may contract or arrange with an employer, such as a contractor who installs computer networks, work that is not covered by subsection 10(1). In this case the owner must give the employer written notice of the information in the record if the work may involve the materials mentioned in the record, or if the work may be carried out in close proximity to the materials mentioned in the record and may disturb it.

Notification of Workers

The owner may employ workers in the building whose work may involve the materials mentioned in the record, or who may work close to the materials mentioned in the record and may disturb it. In this case the owner must advise the workers of the information in the record.

Worker Training

The owner must also set up a training program for workers who may do work that involves the materials mentioned in the record or is to be carried on in close proximity to those materials. The training program must address:

  1. the hazards of asbestos exposure;
  2. use, care and disposal of personal protective clothing and equipment;
  3. personal hygiene; and
  4. the measures and procedures required by the Regulation.

What are the allowable control options for deteriorating insulation?

The presence of deteriorating ACM insulation should be readily detected in a building with a regular inspection program.

Inspections are required in buildings that contain friable or non-friable ACM. Section 8(8) of the Regulation deals with the situation where friable fireproofing or acoustical or thermal insulation has fallen and is being disturbed. If this material is not known to be ACM, the owner must have the material examined to determine if it contains asbestos. If the deteriorating insulation is ACM, or is to be treated as ACM, remedial action must be taken.

No further work involving the material must be done until it has been determined whether the material is ACM.

Four options are available. The insulation can be repaired, sealed, removed or permanently enclosed.

Repair

When damage to pipe or boiler insulation is limited, repair is the easiest control option. Non-asbestos plastering can restore open joints, wrapped or plastered areas that are damaged and areas around valves and flanges.

Sealing

The spray application of a sealant to friable ACM is classified as a Type 3 operation under paragraph 2 of subsection 12(4) and all measures and procedures prescribed in section 15, subsection 18(3) (outdoor) and subsection 18(4) (indoor) for Type 3 operations must be followed/complied with when engaging in this type of operation.

It is recommended that sealants be used only on granular, cementitious material and applied with airless equipment. A sealant should penetrate the ACM and adhere adequately to the substrate. It should also withstand moderate impact, be flexible and flame retardant, resist deterioration over time and be non-toxic.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has evaluated over 100 sealants and recommends that sealants be tested on-site over several days.

Sealants are not recommended for use if the ACM is deteriorated or delaminated or where the ACM may be repeatedly abused. Liquid sealants cannot be applied to friable ACM if the material has visibly deteriorated or if the material's strength and its adhesion to the underlying materials and surfaces are insufficient to support its weight and the weight of the sealant. Refer to subsection 4(3) which describes in more detail the situations where a liquid sealant cannot be used.

Enclosure

Enclosure involves the construction of airtight walls and ceilings around the ACM. It can be a highly effective method of protecting building occupants from asbestos fibre release if the enclosure is properly constructed. The construction material should be impact-resistant and assembled to be airtight. Suspended ceilings with lay-in panels are not acceptable. The advantages and disadvantages of the enclosure option are similar to those of encapsulation. In addition, because fibre release can continue within the enclosure, special procedures have to be established to control access to the enclosure for maintenance and renovation.

Removal

The major advantage of removing ACM is that, if done properly, it permanently eliminates the ACM and, with it, the potential for exposure. If the ACM is removed from the entire building, it is the one control option that removes the need for an asbestos management program. The major disadvantages of the removal option are that it is expensive and often complex. If the work is not done correctly there is a high risk of exposure for the workers carrying out the removal and a high risk of contaminating the building.

Previous | Next

ISBN 978-1-4435-6554-7 (HTML)
ISBN 978-1-4435-6553-0 (PRINT)

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.