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9. Examinations, Records, Reports, and Notifications

  • 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.

As noted in the previous chapters, the requirement to examine material to determine whether it is ACM is crucial to the application of the Regulation. The classification of work involving ACM, set out in section 12 of the Regulation, and the adoption of appropriate measures and procedures, set out in sections 14 through 18, requires that ACM is known to be present or that the work will be done as though ACM were present. In the case of friable sprayed-on ACM the type of asbestos must also be known or assumed to be a type of asbestos other than chrysotile.

How is an examination to be done?

The methods and procedures for determining the asbestos content and the type of asbestos present in the material are set out in section 3.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Test Method EPA/600/R-93/116 has been adopted as the method to be used to determine whether the material is ACM and what type of asbestos is contained in the material.

The minimum number of bulk material samples to be collected from an area of homogeneous material is set out in Table 1 of the Regulation (a copy of the table is also provided in Table 1 of this Guide).

Homogeneous material is defined as material that is uniform in colour and texture. If one bulk sample is found to meet the definition of ACM, the other samples of that material do not have to be analyzed. The whole area where the homogeneous material came from can be considered to be ACM.

Table 1

Bulk Material Samples
O. Reg. 278/05 Subsection 3 (3)
Item Type of material Size of area of homogeneous material Minimum number of bulk material samples to be collected
1. Surfacing material, including without limitation material that is applied to surfaces by spraying, by troweling or otherwise, such as acoustical plaster on ceilings and fireproofing materials on structural members Less than 90 square metres 3
1. Surfacing material, including without limitation material that is applied to surfaces by spraying, by troweling or otherwise, such as acoustical plaster on ceilings and fireproofing materials on structural members 90 or more square metres, but less than 450 square metres 5
1. Surfacing material, including without limitation material that is applied to surfaces by spraying, by troweling or otherwise, such as acoustical plaster on ceilings and fireproofing materials on structural members 450 or more square metres 7
2. Thermal insulation, except as described in item 3 Any size 3
3. Thermal insulation patch Less than 2 linear metres or 0.5 square metres 1
4. Other material Any size 3

Guidance on bulk sampling procedures, bulk sampling equipment and other considerations are provided in paragraphs 44 to 54 and Annex 2 of the British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) MDHS Method 100. The Method can be accessed through the HSE website.

An examination and the development of an asbestos management program can be simplified by consulting the building records. Such records, although unreliable as evidence that asbestos is not present, may show locations where asbestos has been used. The survey of the building records should be followed by a thorough examination of the building or future work area.

The examination should concentrate on walls, ceilings, floors, beams, ducts and other surfaces, including the underside of the roof. Friable insulation may be found on pipes, boilers, tanks, ducts, and rainwater leaders. Pipe and boiler insulation are usually covered with a protective jacket and may not have to be examined unless the work will involve the removal or disturbance of the material.

It is recommended that older ceiling and floor tiles that are 9 inch by 9 inch or larger be examined prior to work that will involve their removal. These tiles are often found to be ACM.

Please refer to Appendix 2 for a list of materials that may contain ACM.

Records and Reports

Are records a required part of an asbestos management program?

Yes. The owner of a building is required to have an asbestos management program in place under certain circumstances as set out in section 8 of the Regulation and maintain a record that contains the information specified in subsection 8(4). The record must be updated at least once every 12 months or when the owner becomes aware of changes to the information contained in the record.

Is a report prior to tendering or arranging for work a requirement?

Yes. Before an owner requests tenders or arranges for demolition, alteration, or repair, the owner must have a report prepared stating whether any material that may be handled, dealt with, disturbed or removed is or is not ACM. This requirement applies whether the material is friable or non-friable. Please refer to Chapter 7 of the Guide for more details on Section 10 of the Regulation.

Who must receive copies of the report?

Under subsection 10(5) the owner is required to give a copy of the report, prepared in accordance with the requirements of subsection 10(4), to any prospective constructors. Similarly, under subsection 10(6) the constructor is required to supply a copy of the report to prospective contractors, and these contractors must do the same for prospective subcontractors.

Notifications

The Regulation requires written or written and oral notifications in several situations as described below.

What notifications are required under Section 8?

The owner of a building is obligated to have an asbestos management program in place and to prepare and keep on the premises a record containing the information set out in section 8 of the Regulation.

Subsection 8(3) requires that the owner of the building give written notice to any person who is an occupier of the building of the information in the record that relates to the part of the building that the person occupies. However, since the report required under Section 8 must include both friable and non-friable ACM, some occupiers who did not have to be notified under the requirements of section 7 (pre-November 1, 2007) will now have to be notified under section 8.

In specified circumstances, the owner is also required to give notice of information in the record to an employer with whom he or she contracts or arranges work for.

For example, the owner of an office building who knows or ought to know that pipe insulation in various suites in the building is ACM or that ceiling tiles in the suites are ACM, must give written notice to the occupiers of these suites.

What notifications are required under section 10?

Section 10 sets out the duties of an owner prior to asking for tenders or arranging for the demolition, alteration, or repair of machinery, equipment, or a building, aircraft, locomotive, railway car, vehicle, or ship. It also includes provisions, in subsections 10(7), 10(8), 10(9) and 10(10), for dealing with material that is found during the work and that may be ACM, but is not included in the report required by subsection 10(4). This is commonly referred to as the unexpected discovery of ACM or suspected ACM. Subsection 10(8) requires the constructor or the employer to immediately give written and oral notice of the discovery to the following individuals or groups: a Ministry of Labour inspector at the office nearest the workplace; the owner; the contractor; and the joint health and safety committee or the health and safety representative for the workplace.

Subsection 10(9) identifies the information that a constructor or employer is required to provide to the Ministry before beginning a Type 3 operation or a Type 2 glove bag operation that involves the removal of one square metre or more of insulation. The details of the requirements for the written notice are found in subsection 11(3).

Section 24 states that written notice can be given to an inspector by delivering it to the office in person, by sending it by ordinary mail, by fax, by courier, or sending it by electronic means that are acceptable to the Ministry. This may include e-mail or reporting options such as E-notification.

Oral notice can be given in person, by telephone, or by sending the notice to the inspector by electronic means acceptable to the Ministry, such as fax, e-mail, or via the Ministry website.

Where there are several joint health and safety committees or health and safety representatives representing different groups of workers within a workplace, the constructor or employer must notify all joint health and safety committees or health and safety representatives of the unexpected discovery.

What notifications are required under section 11?

Subsection 11(1) requires that the constructor of a project, or the employer in the case of any other work, give written and oral notification to a Ministry of Labour inspector at the office nearest the workplace before starting a Type 3 operation.

Subsection 11(2) states that the constructor of a project or the employer in the case of any other work must notify an inspector orally and in writing before beginning a Type 2 glove bag operation that involves the removal of one square metre or more of insulation.

Subsection 11(3) sets out the information that must be included in the notice:

  • the name and address of the person giving the notice;
  • the name and address of the owner of the place where the work will be done;
  • the municipal address of the place where the work will be done or other description that will allow the inspector to find the place;
  • a description of the work;
  • the starting date and expected duration of the work; and
  • the name and address of the supervisor in charge of the work.

The information can be provided by completing and submitting Notice of Project forms which are available from any Ministry of Labour office or ServiceOntario Centres.

Must the Ministry of Labour Notice of Project (NOP) form be used when submitting notices under section 11?

No. Section 11 requires a constructor/employer to notify the Ministry (in writing and orally) of certain information before commencing a Type 3 operation, or a Type 2 glove bag removal of more than one square metre of insulation that is ACM from a pipe, duct or similar structure. The NOP may be used to submit this information, but the information may also be submitted in the form of a letter, memo, etc., so long as the specified information required by the Regulation is provided.

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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.