The Electrical Safety Authority’s Health and Safety Requirement for Personnel to Enter a site that has suspected/confirmed asbestos containing materials (ACM) which may have been disturbed.
Asbestos and Asbestos-Containing Material (ACM) – Your Responsibilities
Asbestos-containing material is a major safety risk for anyone working or living on-site. If ESA suspects the disturbance of asbestos-containing material on your site – such as a home renovation or construction project – we are required by law to advise you of this concern.
Ontario Regulation 278/05 governs safety precautions that must be followed for all work on or around asbestos-containing material, or work that is likely to disturb asbestos-containing material.
NOTE: It is the responsibility of property owners to ensure the safety of workers on their property including that of Inspectors. This responsibility includes determining whether asbestos dust – a major safety risk – is present and taking required mitigation actions. To learn about the legal obligations, contact the Ministry of Labour at 1-877-202-0008 or visit their website.
Designated Substance Surveys
The Regulation requires a Designated Substance Survey (DSS) to be completed prior to commencing work. This survey samples materials on the site to determine if they contain asbestos. Any asbestos-containing material that will be disturbed or removed as part of work must be removed according to the Regulation. More information...
ESA Suspects Asbestos-Containing Material in my Residence/Building – What do I need to do?
In order to avoid delays due to an unsafe work site make sure you have the designated substance survey (DSS), as well as any documentation that confirms safe removal of asbestos if it was disturbed/removed as part of the construction project. This can be made available upon request by the ESA inspector.
If documentation cannot be provided this may result in a delay where ESA will only return to inspect after active demolition (including clean-up) has ceased overnight, greater than 12 hours prior to entry. This is for the safety of our workers. ESA will leave any disposable safety materials that may need to be worn to protect the ESA inspector in a plastic bag that is the responsibility of the contractor\owner to dispose of as construction waste.
What is ESA process regarding asbestos disturbance?
In the absence of a designated substance survey ESA inspectors will have to conduct a risk assessment based on their safety training and determine if a potential asbestos hazard is present.
Generally an asbestos hazard may be presumed present in the following cases:
- Based on the building age in relation to the types of ACM and their end of use dates
- Suspect ACM are present in the home and there is evidence that they were disturbed by the work.
If the above statement applies and any of the following conditions exist:
- Dust/debris of suspect ACM are present on areas of floors where the ESA inspector needs to walk (as disturbance by foot traffic could generate airborne dust/fibers).
- There is damaged suspect friable ACM that would be in proximity to the ESA inspector in rooms that they need to enter.
- Active work is in progress (this may include any construction, demolition, or clean-up work that is disturbing a suspect asbestos-containing material).
ESA will only return to inspect after active demolition (including clean-up) has ceased overnight, greater than 12 hours prior to entry. This is for the safety of our workers. ESA will leave any disposable safety materials that may need to be worn to protect the ESA inspector in a plastic bag that is the responsibility of the contractor/owner to dispose of as construction waste.
For further information on asbestos safety contact the Ministry of Labour at 1-877-202-0008Ontario Hygiene Association of Ontario Consultant DirectoryCanadian Registration Board of Occupational HygienistsAdditional information on the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Ontario Regulation 278/05 “Designated Substance Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations”Ontario Ministry of Labour: Asbestos FAQsInfrastructure Hazards and Safety Association (IHSA): Asbestos Hazards