Exposure to asbestos can cause serious long-term health issues and even death. Asbestos was widely used in B.C. as a building material until the early 1990s, and it can be present in many areas of older buildings. If you suspect asbestos is present, do not touch or move it. Only qualified professionals can remove asbestos.
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Anyone who repairs, renovates, or demolishes older buildings in B.C. is at risk of inhaling asbestos fibres. Found in dozens of items in older buildings, asbestos breaks down into small fibres as it ages or when it is disturbed. Touching or moving it releases the fibres into the air, where they can linger for hours.
Breathing in asbestos fibres damages your lungs, causing serious health problems.
People exposed to asbestos won't develop illnesses right away. It takes years for your health to suffer. Research shows that smokers who inhale asbestos fibres greatly increase their risk of lung cancer.
Never assume a building material is free of asbestos. You can't tell just by looking at it. If you suspect asbestos is present, stop work immediately and have a qualified asbestos professional complete an asbestos survey.
If asbestos is found, the law requires employers to hire a qualified abatement contractor to remove it. A qualified person must also certify that the worksite air is safe, following the completion of the asbestos removal work. A notice of project must be submitted to WorkSafeBC for all asbestos work.
To reduce the potential for injury or disease, you need to control the risks and hazards in your workplace.
The most effective way to manage the risk of exposure to asbestos is to eliminate the source of exposure. If that's not possible, there are other risk controls to use. When choosing risk controls, start by asking yourself the questions in the following steps, listed in order of effectiveness. See our resources for more information.
Eliminating the asbestos hazard by substituting a safer material, where possible, is the most effective control. For example:
Making physical modifications to facilities, equipment, and processes can reduce exposure. Some questions to consider:
Changing work practices and work policies, awareness tools, and training can limit the risk of asbestos exposure. Some questions to consider:
This is the least effective control. It must always be used in addition to at least one other control. Personal protective equipment must always be used when working with asbestos. Some questions to consider:
Asbestos awareness for homeowners
Safe Work Practices for Handling Asbestos
When it comes to protecting yourself from liability, it is critical to know if a business or contractor you plan to hire is registered and in good standing.
If you hire a registered subcontractor who is not making required payments to WorkSafeBC, you could be liable for insurance premiums relating to the work or service they provided to you.
To protect your business from additional insurance premiums, always get a clearance letter before and after you receive services from a subcontractor. A clearance letter confirms a business is registered and paying its premiums. In order to be absolved of any potential liability related to your subcontractor’s unpaid premiums, you must have a clearance letter from WorkSafeBC, addressed to you, confirming that your subcontractor was "active and in good standing" for the entire period of your contract.
Asbestos in Demolition and Renovation
Does the house you're working on contain asbestos?
See some common places where asbestos can be found in a home.
An Asbestos Inspection includes a full visual assessment to identify areas of the building which potentially contain Asbestos. The condition of the Asbestos is documented in a written report with photos and when Asbestos Testing is carried out, a complete lab analysis report is also included.
Recommendations for further risk management and maintenance and management requirements are also available. As we have no relationship with Asbestos Removal companies, we have no vested interest in either overstating the quantity of suspect or Asbestos Containing Materials or in exaggerating the poor condition of the material, constraining your management options to removal when there may be suitable alternatives.
In many situations the presence of asbestos containing material can only be confirmed with an Asbestos Test. This requires that one or a number of small samples is safely removed to an accredited Laboratory for testing and analysis.
We can provide safe and reliable Asbestos Tests and Sampling Analysis in conjunction with accredited laboratory partners. In addition air monitoring by licensed technicians is also available.
It is critical that anyone considering even minor maintenance and renovations which may include drilling, scraping, demolishing or disposing of building materials that you have an Inspection organized quickly and efficiently by our qualified Asbestos Inspectors.
An Asbestos Test can potentially ensure that you do not expose yourself, your family and even contractors to a dangerous hazard.
Since Asbestos should be handled carefully, only trust trained professionals to take care of your asbestos identification and asbestos testing requirements.
Get the reassurance that your home is free from illness causing asbestos. Call Assure Property Solutions Inc for an Asbestos inspection today!
What is Asbestos
You've probably heard of asbestos, but how much do you really know about it? Where is it found and what does it do to your body?
Naturally Occurring Asbestos and Exposure Risks