Training on asbestos management, its inventory and work related to it

Asbestos is a concern for most companies in Quebec but many people and managers do not know whether to manage it or not and if so, to what extent.

Why not ignore it?

Every year, the CSST compensate about 200 deaths annually. 50% of these deaths are the result of accidents but since several years, deaths due to exposure to asbestos represent the other 50% of these deaths. It is huge and still growing. Faced with this situation, asbestos has become a major issue to the CSST. The majority of these deaths are now found among workers associated with the construction and maintenance of buildings.

Indeed asbestos is present in many materials that make up the buildings, whether plaster walls (“Drywall”), suspended ceiling tiles, the lagging (insulating material covering hot and cold structures such as pipes or furnaces), flocking sprayed or applied to structures (steel beams or concrete) as delaying material in case of fire. These materials, when handled or damaged during renovations that may generate dust, may propel into the air asbestos fibers and cause serious and often fatal respiratory diseases such as asbestosis or lung cancer. It is therefore the responsibility of employers to never expose its workers to asbestos and monitor its presence in the air.

To counter this reality, the CSST has enforced since June 2013 a new regulation on the identification of materials likely to contain asbestos (MLCA) and the work done on these materials. Employers have an obligation to conduct an inventory of MLCA into their buildings and develop a management program for all work involving the MLCA, both for their employees and for external contractors.

How to deal with it?

Jobs involving asbestos are peculiar and every company should have policies and procedures to ensure that those jobs are carried out safely, both for workers and for people who work in the work environment after renovations. The CSST, meanwhile, does not hesitate to shut down renovation projects if the company is not able to demonstrate that the disturbed materials do not contain asbestos.

Our training aims to provide the knowledge necessary for managers who need to manage their company’s buildings and the work being done there so they can supervise them properly, whether carried out by employees, building contractors or subcontractors. They will also understand how to make an inventory of materials that may contain asbestos and determine the measures to be taken if renovations must be made.

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