Public Services and Procurement Canada Asbestos Management Standard
From: Public Services and Procurement Canada
1. Effective date
June 5, 2017 (updated June 1, 2019)
This standard is issued under the authority of the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Real Property Services (RPS), Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).
This standard enhances and supplements Part II of the Canada Labour Code—Occupational Health and Safety, as well as the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (COHSR) Part X—Hazardous Substances and should be read in that context.
This standard should also be read in conjunction with the National Joint Council Occupational Health and Safety Directive, Part XI—Hazardous Substances, and the PSPC Standard on Hazardous Substances, which is part of the departmental occupational health and safety policy suite.
This standard applies to buildings and engineering assets, both Crown-owned and leased (including lease-purchase, and sale leaseback), where PSPC is the custodian, in which either:
- asbestos-containing material has been found to be present; or
- no professional certification attesting that the building does not include any known asbestos-containing material can be obtained.
This includes buildings and engineering assets that are managed internally, as well as those managed on behalf of PSPC by real property contractors.
This standard sets out Real Property Service’s requirements regarding the operational and technical activities required to be carried out for the management of asbestos-containing material.
6. Details on Asbestos management, maintenance and repair work processes
Each building that contains asbestos-containing material shall have in place an Asbestos Management Plan that must be kept onsite, and be available to building systems technicians, building operator maintainers, and service providers through the Asset Manager, or Property and Facility Manager, as well as departmental employees through the Employer representatives. Annual reassessment of asbestos-containing material, work records, and sampling results must be part of the Asbestos Management Plan.
An Asbestos Management Plan is required for all buildings unless a professional certification confirming that the building does not include any known asbestos-containing materials is obtained. The certification must be kept onsite and be available to all building occupants upon request.
The asbestos management requirements for leased buildings are subject to the existing lease clauses, in addition to the requirements named in this standard.
Processes regarding the contents and preparation of the Asbestos Management Plan are provided in Section 6.1. Asbestos Management Plan.
Maintenance and renovation work performed in a building known to contain asbestos-containing material shall be conducted as per the processes outlined in Section 6.2. Maintenance, renovations and construction processes involving asbestos-containing materials.
6.1. Asbestos management plan
6.1.1. Background information
An Asbestos Management Plan is required to ensure that asbestos-containing material is managed and controlled in PSPC custodial buildings and engineering assets, both Crown-owned and leased (including lease-purchase, and sale leaseback), to reduce the risk of damaging asbestos-containing material, and potential occupant exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. The Asbestos Management Plan is to be reviewed and updated to reflect changes in policy and regulations at least every 5 years, or more frequently if required. Whenever reviewed or updated, the Asbestos Management Plan must be provided to the Employer representatives and retained in accordance with section 6.2.11. A record must be kept reflecting when and to whom the report was presented.
The Asbestos Management Plan performs the following functions:
- At the building level, it is a central repository of all information related to the management of asbestos for each facility.
- It acts as a control mechanism to ensure compliance.
- It communicates roles and responsibilities of those required to work with or around asbestos-containing materials.
- It describes work classification for disturbances of asbestos-containing materials.
- It communicates the departmental processes for working with asbestos-containing materials.
- It acts as common terms of reference for the safe operation and management of a building or engineering asset with asbestos-containing materials.
The Asbestos Management Plan includes the following elements at a minimum:
- a list of applicable regulatory requirements
- a brief summary of locations and types of material that contain asbestos present in the building
- a survey and inventory of asbestos-containing materials, and assessment of material condition
- annual asbestos-containing material reassessment
- notification of location, quantity, and condition of asbestos-containing materials and the potential for disturbance
- training and awareness requirements
- notification of Employer representatives when work will be performed that disturbs asbestos
- repair and maintenance procedures
- sample collection and analysis
- project inspection
- air monitoring
- emergency work procedure(s)
- laboratory results for all materials tested (to be included whether samples are positive or negative for asbestos content)
6.1.2. Crown-owned buildings and engineering assets' asbestos-containing material inspection, assessment, and inventory
In order to determine the presence of asbestos-containing material in buildings and engineering assets, and to ensure the maintenance of a complete inventory of asbestos-containing materials, an initial baseline survey must be completed by a qualified person on all buildings and engineering assets which have the potential to contain asbestos. An annual reassessment must be performed by a qualified person on all asbestos-containing materials identified in the baseline asbestos survey, and on those materials which may have subsequently been identified during maintenance, renovations, or other construction activities at the site.
The baseline survey must include:
- identification, location, condition, accessibility, and quantity of suspected and confirmed friable and non-friable asbestos-containing material; and
- an action matrix (as described in Annex A, Section 1.4.3.), which establishes recommended asbestos control action(s).
Any material suspected of containing asbestos must have its status confirmed through laboratory analysis; until confirmed, it is assumed to be asbestos-containing material.
184.108.40.206. Laboratory material analysis
The collection of material samples shall be carried out as randomly-collected bulk samples, and be representative of the homogeneous surfaces, areas, and types of material present. Samples are to be collected following the procedures outlined in Section 6.2.6.
The analysis of bulk samples shall be performed by a laboratory accredited by either the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP), American Industrial Hygiene association (AIHA), or the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA), or using a method noted in provincial regulations where the sample was taken, to the detection limits specified in Annex A, Section 1.2. Frequency of sample collection must meet federal/provincial/territorial regulations, but can be more frequent at the discretion of the surveyor.
Analysis of bulk samples are to be performed, where possible, using the United States Environmental Protection Agency method EPA/600/R-93/116 for Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM). In some instances, analysis must be performed using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) (an example of this would be analysis of vinyl floor tile).
6.1.3. Assessment of asbestos-containing materials
Asbestos-containing materials that are identified as a result of the survey and laboratory analysis shall be assessed for their condition and accessibility. Annex A—Evaluation of Asbestos-Containing Materials and Recommendations for Control, provides specific criteria for the assessment of asbestos-containing materials based on condition and accessibility, as well as mandatory Asbestos Management Program response(s) relative to health risk. It also provides an action matrix, which is used to determine the recommended action to control asbestos-containing materials based on the particular circumstances. Detailed information regarding the requirements to properly undertake each action is also provided.
6.1.4. Inventory of asbestos-containing materials
An inventory of asbestos-containing materials must be maintained, and the inventory shall contain information for the specific building or engineering asset. The inventory record shall remain in the building or engineering asset. The inventory shall contain a list of all known asbestos-containing materials and their locations. If access to an area is not permitted due to security or other reasons, it will be noted in the inventory.
In general, inventories are in table format and include the following:
- type of building material that contains asbestos (example: floor tile)
- asbestos location
- asbestos type and percent content (example: amosite 3%)
- asbestos friability (friable or non-friable)
- quantity of building material
- asbestos condition
- accessibility of the asbestos
Floor plans indicating the location(s) of asbestos-containing materials may be included.
It must be ensured that a copy of the current inventory is maintained onsite at a location that is accessible, and provided to the Employer representatives, and facility maintenance staff.
6.1.5. Annual asbestos-containing material reassessment
On a yearly basis, the building or engineering asset’s asbestos-containing material inventory information is to be updated through a reassessment based primarily on change in condition and quantity (refer to Annex B), and outdated versions of the inventory records must be archived and retained in accordance with section 6.2.11. The Asbestos Management Plan shall be updated with new inventory information as changes are made at the various locations, or where new information identifies the existence of asbestos-containing material not previously identified.
The reassessment must be signed by, and conducted under the direction of, a person qualified in asbestos management. The results of this assessment are to be added to the building Asbestos Management Plan as described in section 6.1.1.
In a timely fashion, the annual re-assessment, along with a summary of the report in plain language, must be provided to the Employer representatives and Regional Asbestos Coordinator. A record must be kept reflecting when and to whom the report was presented.
6.1.6. Leased Space
If a building is known to contain asbestos-containing materials, then before leased space is occupied, an Asbestos Management Plan must be obtained from the Lessor that identifies all friable and non-friable asbestos-containing materials located within the building and on the property. Otherwise, a professional certification confirming that the building does not include any known asbestos-containing materials is required.
The Asset Manager, or Property and Facility Manager will keep an electronic copy of the Asbestos Management Plan available to be distributed upon request.
For detail on lease clauses, refer to Public Works and Government Services Canada’s Invitation to Offer document, owned by the Real Estate Services Service Line.
6.2. Maintenance, renovations and construction processes involving asbestos-containing materials
6.2.1. Classification of asbestos-related work
The following criteria shall be used in determining the classification of asbestos work.
220.127.116.11. Low risk work
Low risk work includes:
- non-destructive (that is without breaking, cutting, drilling, abrading) removal of non-friable asbestos-containing material;
- destructive work (that is breaking, cutting, drilling, abrading) on wetted non-friable asbestos-containing material with non-powered hand-held tools;
- removal of one square meter or less of drywall in which joint compounds contain asbestos-containing materials;
- removal or replacement of 7.5 square metres or less of non-friable asbestos-containing compressed-mineral-fibre-type ceiling tiles; and
- collecting samples of materials suspected of containing friable asbestos.
18.104.22.168. Intermediate risk work
Moderate risk work includes:
- entry into ceiling spaces, crawlspaces, pipe tunnels, etc., where friable asbestos debris is or may be present;
- removal or replacement of greater than 7.5 square metres of non-friable asbestos-containing compressed-mineral-fibre-type ceiling tiles;
- removing more than 2 square meters of friable asbestos-containing suspended ceiling tiles that are removed without being broken, cut, drilled, abraded, ground, sanded, or vibrated;
- removal of more than one square metre of drywall where asbestos-containing joint compound materials has been used;
- destructive work (that is breaking, cutting, drilling, abrading) on non-wetted, non-friable asbestos-containing material with non-powered hand held tools;
- destructive work (that is breaking, cutting, drilling, abrading) on non-friable asbestos-containing material if the work is done by means of power tools that are attached to dust collecting devices equipped with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters;
- minor removal or disturbance of friable asbestos-containing material. Minor is defined as follows:
- in British Columbia: up to 0.1 m² surface area, or 3 linear metres of pipe insulation
- in Quebec: up to 0.03 m³ of debris
- all others: up to 1 m² of surface area
- enclosing friable asbestos-containing material;
- applying tape or cover to asbestos-containing insulation;
- glove bag removal of asbestos-containing material from a pipe, duct or similar structure;
- removing filters in an air handling unit in a building that has sprayed-on asbestos-containing fireproofing; and
- work not otherwise classified as either low or high risk.
22.214.171.124. High risk work
High risk work includes:
- major removal or disturbance of friable asbestos-containing material (greater than quantities defined under moderate work);
- destructive work (that is breaking, cutting, drilling, abrading) of non-friable asbestos-containing material using power tools not attached to dust-collecting devices equipped with HEPA filters;
- encapsulating friable asbestos-containing material by spray application of an encapsulant or sealant;
- cleaning or removal of ductwork and air handling equipment serving or passing through areas of buildings with sprayed, friable asbestos-containing material; and
- repair, alteration or demolition of a boiler, furnace, kiln, or similar equipment made of asbestos-containing refractory materials.
6.2.2. Asbestos work processes
Written processes for performing low, moderate, and high risk work are to be developed for the work to be undertaken, based on the friability of the asbestos-containing material, processes to be used, and the worksite. These processes shall be developed in accordance with the Canadian National Master Construction Specification (NMS), Sections 02 82 00.01 (Asbestos Abatement—Minimum Precautions), 02 82 00.02 (Asbestos Abatement—Intermediate Precautions), or 02 82 00.03 (Asbestos Abatement—Maximum Precautions).
Written notification must be given to the Asset Manager, or Property and Facility Manager of the potential disturbance of asbestos-containing materials during repair, maintenance and construction projects.
6.2.4. Control prior to maintenance work
All maintenance work shall be reviewed for the possibility of disturbance of asbestos-containing material when work is required.
Before undertaking any work that may disturb asbestos-containing materials, a report shall be prepared stating the type(s) of asbestos and the condition of the asbestos-containing material, and the location of the asbestos-containing material.
When there are friable or non-friable asbestos-containing materials in the work area and this material will be disturbed by the work, then the work shall be considered asbestos-related work, and the risk level classified by a qualified person in accordance with the work to be performed.
Prior to the start of work, the Asset Manager, or Property and Facility Manager will inform the Employer representatives.
Arrangements shall be made for specifications to be prepared for asbestos work by a qualified person, following the appropriate specifications according to Canadian National Master Construction Specification (NMS) format mentioned in Section 6.2.2. Alterations to specifications, in order to accommodate specific federal and provincial requirements, shall be determined based on work requirements.
When there are asbestos-containing materials in the maintenance area, and it has been determined that these materials could be disturbed by the work, the maintenance staff or the service provider must be notified.
Before asbestos abatement work is started, the following documentation must be provided by the service provider as proof of competency as per provincial/territorial regulations:
- third-party liability insurance
- fit test certificate
- service provider’s site-specific safety plan
- Notice of Project
- copy of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board / Ministry of Labour clearance
- copy of trade certificates / competency cards
- other certificates where required (fall protection, confined space, man lift, etc.)
Also prior to the commencement of asbestos abatement work, the following precautions must be ensured:
- management has received proof of adequate training for employees performing asbestos work and approved personal protective equipment is provided;
- containers for asbestos waste shall be labeled as asbestos waste and are held at a pre-determined, secure location in the building; and
- the collection and disposal of asbestos-containing material waste is performed in accordance with the applicable provincial regulations.
In the event of a suspected release of asbestos-containing material outside of the contained work area, the processes detailed in the building Asbestos Management Plan concerning emergency work procedures must be complied with.
6.2.5. Control prior to renovation and construction work
Prior to commencement of projects that include the demolition of material suspected of containing asbestos which has not yet been tested (such as material not accessible in the original survey), testing of this material for asbestos shall be undertaken, unless previous comprehensive testing in the building has shown this material to be free of asbestos. Along with the asbestos surveys of the building, records of test results shall be maintained on site as per section 6.2.11.
When there are friable or non-friable asbestos-containing materials in the work area and this material will be disturbed by the work, then the work shall be determined as asbestos-related work and the risk level classified by a qualified person in accordance with the work to be performed.
In a timely fashion, a summary report, written in plain language, concerning the asbestos work must be provided to the Employer representatives. A record must be kept reflecting when and to whom the report was provided.
Arrangements shall be made for specifications to be prepared for asbestos work by a qualified person, following the appropriate Canadian National Master Construction Specification (NMS) format mentioned in Section 6.2.2. Alterations to specifications, in order to accommodate specific federal and provincial requirements, shall be determined based on work requirements.
Services related to the design and preparation of specifications shall be performed by a qualified person with the appropriate training, experience, and insurance for asbestos-related work.
When there are asbestos-containing materials in the renovation area, and it has been determined that these materials could be disturbed by the work, the maintenance staff and/or the service provider must be notified of the presence of asbestos-containing material.
Prior to the start of asbestos abatement work, documentation and work precautions must be ensured as per section 6.2.4.
In the event of a suspected release of asbestos-containing material outside of the contained work area, the processes detailed in the building Asbestos Management Plan concerning emergency work procedures must be followed.
Upon completion of any project work which alters the amount or condition of asbestos-containing material in the building or engineering asset, a report will be prepared that indicates the work that has been completed. The inventory shall be updated, and this information is to be retained in accordance with section 6.2.11.
6.2.6. Bulk sample procedures
During the annual reassessment or investigation prior to renovation projects, material may be discovered that could contain asbestos. The only way to confirm the presence of asbestos is by means of laboratory testing. In order to establish whether there are any asbestos-containing materials, and to identify the type and concentration of asbestos, bulk material samples must be collected by a qualified person from a homogeneous surface, area or insulation. The information gathered is essential in ensuring proper identification of asbestos materials by microscope analysis. Bulk material sampling is conducted as follows:
- The material must be sampled when the area is not in use where feasible. Only those persons needed for sampling should be present in the immediate area.
- The use of a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirator is recommended for all sampling. Depending on the condition and location of the material, airborne fibres can be generated during sampling.
- Under the work area, polyethylene drop sheet must be placed over flooring that absorbs dust (such as carpeting) and over flooring in the asbestos work area where dust and contamination cannot otherwise be safely contained. Drop sheets are not to be reused.
- The material is to be sprayed with a light mist of water to prevent asbestos fibre release during sampling, if possible. The material must not be disturbed any more than necessary.
- Materials of different appearance should be sampled separately. Mechanical insulation must be sampled separately on all systems, tanks, vessels, etc. Both the straight sections of pre-formed insulation, and the insulating cement typically present at elbows, fittings, etc. (unless visually identified as fibreglass) must be sampled. Frequency of sampling must meet federal/provincial/territorial regulations.
- For asbestos insulation, the sample is collected by penetrating the entire depth of the material, as the insulation may have been applied in more than one layer or covered with paint or other protective coating.
- If pieces of material break off during sampling, the contaminated area must be cleaned up by wet cleaning. Any debris generated must be placed in plastic bags, labelled, sealed and disposed of as asbestos waste in accordance with requirements of the provincial/territorial and/or federal authority having jurisdiction.
- Samples must be placed in labeled plastic bags with a zip-lock closure or in sealed plastic vials. Samples shall be identified with the following information:
- sample number
- location (e.g. building name, room number)
- date of sampling
- name of sampler
- source of sample, e.g. cold water pipe, cold water fitting, etc.
- Any openings created to collect the sample must be sealed (e.g. self-adhesive tape, paint or metal-foil tape to be wrapped completely around the pipe, duct or structure).
- Bulk sample analysis shall be done by an accredited laboratory (refer to section 126.96.36.199. Laboratory material analysis).
- The minimum number of bulk material samples to be collected for each type of test material is 3. When sampling homogeneous materials such as plaster, or materials applied by troweling, 5 samples are required when the area is greater than 90 square meters, 7 samples are required when the area exceeds 450 square meters.
6.2.7. Respirator fitting, inspection and maintenance
For matters pertaining to respiratory protection, refer to the departmental Procedure on Respiratory Protection which is under the Standard on Personal Protective Equipment and Clothing for Employees.
6.2.8. Asbestos work inspection and air quality monitoring
188.8.131.52. Low risk work
Work classified as low risk shall be subject to the standard maintenance or project inspection requirements, ensuring all asbestos-containing material has been removed and the area cleaned of dust and debris. Air monitoring is not required during or after work.
184.108.40.206. Moderate risk work
Work classified as moderate risk shall be inspected by a qualified person during the work. Air monitoring for total fibre concentration in the clean room if applicable, and outside of the enclosure adjacent to the work area, will be conducted daily by a qualified person.
The air samples will be analyzed by phase contrast microscopy as determined by NIOSH Method 7400, or an equivalent under provincial regulations. Analysis of samples shall be performed by organizations participating in a recognized external quality control program. A stop-work order will be issued when phase contrast microscopy measurements of the air samples exceed 0.05 fibres/cm³. This order is in effect until work processes are corrected and subsequent tests are less than 0.05 fibres/cm³.
All moderate risk work shall be subject to final clearance air sampling inside the enclosure using forced air equipment. The clearance criterion and number of air samples shall be identical to those specified in Section 220.127.116.11.
18.104.22.168. High risk work
Arrangements shall be made for a qualified person to inspect and perform daily air monitoring for total fibre concentration in the clean room, and outside of the enclosure adjacent to the work area classified as high risk. If required, additional monitoring shall be performed to meet provincial/territorial regulations.
The air samples are to be analyzed by phase contrast microscopy as determined by NIOSH, Method 7400, or an equivalent under provincial regulations. Analysis of samples shall be performed by organizations participating in a recognized external quality control program. A stop-work order will be issued when phase contrast microscopy measurements of the air samples exceed 0.05 fibres/cm³. This order is in effect until work processes are corrected and subsequent tests are less than 0.05 fibres/cm³.
All high risk removal projects shall be subject to final clearance air sampling inside the enclosure, using forced air equipment. The clearance criterion shall be a concentration of less than 0.01 fibres per cubic centimetre (fibres/cm³) of air, as determined by NIOSH, Method 7400, or an equivalent under provincial regulations.
The following number of air samples are to be taken:
- (a) two samples for every area in an enclosure that is 10 m² or less;
- (b) three samples for every area in an enclosure that is more than 10 m² and not more than 500 m²; and
- (c) five samples for every area in an enclosure that is more than 500 m².
If any sample does not pass the phase contrast microscopy test, samples shall be further analyzed via transmission electron microscopy following NIOSH Method 7402.
6.2.9. Hazardous occurrence investigation and reporting
When a building occupant is, or may have accidentally been, exposed to airborne asbestos as a result of disturbance of asbestos-containing material, or by inadvertent contact during regular maintenance, renovation or construction work, a qualified person shall be appointed to conduct a hazard investigation as defined by the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.
The assessment shall determine the potential hazard, and must conclude as to whether the hazardous material could be present as an airborne hazard, at a level of at least 50% of the exposure limit as determined by the threshold limit values identified by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). The Asset Manager or Property and Facility Manager, building Employer representatives, and the Workplace Health and Safety Committee must be invited to participate in the assessment. At the conclusion of the assessment, all participants will receive a copy of the Hazardous Occurrence Investigation report.
When airborne asbestos-containing materials are likely present at level of at least 50% of the exposure limit, a control plan shall be instituted. The control plan must address the following:
- a record of where asbestos-containing material was found
- written procedures for control
- a communication plan with building Employer representatives
- medical surveillance, when applicable
- training of employees
6.2.10. Emergency work procedures
A building’s Asbestos Management Plan outlines emergency work procedures.
Records shall be kept in accordance with the following:
|Document||Length of retention—electronic copy||Information on site|
|Annual record of inspection||30 years (including beyond the life of the building / disposal of the building / building no longer managed by PSPC)||Most recent copy|
|Asbestos Management Plan||30 years (including beyond the life of the building / disposal of the building / building no longer managed by PSPC)||Most recent copy|
|Asbestos Containing Materials inventory||30 years (including beyond the life of the building / disposal of the building / building no longer managed by PSPC)||Most recent copy|
|Test results (air and bulk sampling)||30 years (including beyond the life of the building / disposal of the building / building no longer managed by PSPC)||Most recent copy|
|Medical test records||30 years from date of test - Refer to human resources document storage requirements||Refer to human resources requirements|
In addition, for records noted above to be kept on site, these shall be retained on site as long as a building is occupied or managed by PSPC. For electronic copies (other than medical records), these records shall be saved and retained in GCdocs Footnote 2 as per the above retention schedule, and managed subject to any instructions for a hazardous substances information management system.
All other documents related to asbestos management and abatements shall be maintained and disposed of as per PSPC’s departmental policy on Information Management.
- Naturally occurring fibrous silicates, including chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite.
- Asbestos containing material (ACM):
- Any material found to contain asbestos that is at or above the limit defined by provincial standards, as determined by the standard Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) or Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) methods for the analysis of bulk samples..
- Asbestos-related work:
- Work that will disturb friable or non-friable asbestos-containing material in the area.
- Asbestos work area:
- Area where work is being performed which will or may disturb asbestos-containing material, including overspray and fallen material or settled dust that may contain asbestos.
- Assets and facilities for which PSPC is the custodian:
- Any federal real property or federal immovable acquired or leased by the Department for the purposes of the Department under the administration of the Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
- Clean room:
- A room without asbestos contamination. Specifically, it is an uncontaminated change room where the clean street clothes of asbestos abatement workers are stored.
- Clearance air sampling:
- Sampling to determine if the concentration of airborne asbestos fiber inside an enclosure is below the limit specified in Section 22.214.171.124 to permit the dismantling of a containment system.
- Any work or undertaking in connection with a project, including, but not restricted to, erection, alteration, repair, dismantling, demolition, structural maintenance, painting, land clearing, earth moving, grading, excavating, trenching, digging, boring, drilling, blasting or concreting; the installation of any machinery or plant; and ship repair/maintenance when in dry dock.
- A department whose minister has administration of real property for the purposes of department or agency programs, or for the accommodation of other federal departments and agencies.
- Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC)
- A person employed in the part of the public service to which the Public Service Commission has exclusive authority to make appointments; this includes students and part-time employees and casual workers
- A person who employs one or more employees, and includes an employer’s organization and any person who acts on behalf of an employer.
- Employer representative:
- A person who acts on behalf of the employer department, as designated by the department. This means that each department located in a building has a representative who communicates with his or her department’s Workplace Health and Safety Committee, in compliance with the Canada Labour Code, Part II.
- Application of a liquid sealant to asbestos-containing material; the sealant may penetrate and harden the material, or cover the surface with a protective coating (bridging sealants). Also called encasement.
- A structure made of polyethylene or other suitable material to prevent the spread of asbestos containing material from the work area.
- Friable asbestos product:
- Asbestos-containing material that, when dry, can be easily crumbled, pulverized or powdered by hand pressure.
- Glove bag removal:
- A method of removing friable insulation from a piping system using a prefabricated bag which isolates the section of insulation being removed.
- Any source of potential damage, harm or adverse effects on life, health, property or environment at work. It refers to any biological, chemical, ergonomic, physical, psychosocial or safety factor that is reasonably likely to cause harm or damage to humans, other organisms, or the environment in the absence of its control. Sometimes a hazard is referred to as being the actual harm or the health effect it caused rather than the hazard. For example the disease tuberculosis might be called a hazard by some but in general the tuberculosis-causing bacteria would be considered the “hazard” or “hazardous biological agent”. Exposure to tuberculosis would be the hazardous incident.
- Hazardous occurrence:
- An event occurring at a PSPC-managed building or worksite, or through the course of an employee's work, that results in, or has the potential to result in, a fatality, injury, illness, exposure to a hazardous substance or property damage, or an escapement of a hazardous material. For the purpose of investigating, recording and reporting hazardous occurrences, the following are included under this term: disabling injuries, minor injuries and near-misses.
- Hazardous substance:
- A controlled product that is a chemical, biological or physical agent that, by reason of a property that the agent possesses, is hazardous to the safety or health of a person exposed to it.
- Act or process of a qualified person investigating a hazardous occurrence; a careful search or examination in order to discover facts, identify the root cause and contributing factors to produce a report of corrective measures.
- An employee who forms part of a management team and is accountable for exercising delegated authority over human and financial resources to accomplish the objectives of the organization.
- Personal protective equipment:
- Any clothing, equipment, or device worn or used by a person to protect that person from injury or illness, and to minimize exposure to specific occupational hazards.
- Professional certification:
- A document which has been validated by the signature of a person formally certified by a professional body.
- Qualified person:
- A person who:
- has the required knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance
- is familiar with all legislation and regulations that apply to the work
- has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace
Examples of a qualified person include a Professional Engineer, Industrial Hygienist, or someone who has another professional designation for the purposes of this standard that are related to asbestos management.
- For the purposes of this document, the potential for harm befalling an individual, given the probability of an incident occurring, combined with the potential severity of the harm.
- Real property contractor:
- A person, entity, or entities named in contracts to supply services to Canada as defined in procurement mechanisms such as RP-1 property management and project delivery services; RP-2 National Capital Area property management, project delivery services and optional services; and subsequent real property procurement mechanisms RP-n.
- Service provider:
- A person or entity who performs work for and/or supplies services to the owner for monetary compensation, either by undertaking the work alone, by employing one or more workers, or by contracting the services of one or more workers.
- A person who has the responsibility for day to day supervision of other employees, e.g. assigns work, sets priorities, assesses performance, and approves or recommends approval of leave.
- Any place where an employee is engaged in work for the department.
- Workplace Health and Safety Committee:
- As defined in the Canada Labour Code, Part II, Occupational Health and Safety, Sections 134.1, 135, and 136.
- Silicate mineral with a layered (mica-like) morphology which may range in colour from silvery-blond to dark grey-brown. For the purposes of this document, vermiculite with any concentration of asbestos measured in a composite sample taken in accordance with provincial/territorial sampling and analysis standards is considered an asbestos-containing material.
Federal acts and regulations
National Joint Council publications
Public Services and Procurement Canada publications
- Directive on occupational health and safety—Hazard prevention program (available on Government of Canada network only)
- Policy on occupational health and safety (available on Government of Canada network only)
- Procedure on Respiratory Protection (accessible to Public Services and Procurement Canada employees only)
- Archived—Policy on Information Management
- Standard on Hazardous Occurrence Investigation and Reporting (accessible to Public Services and Procurement Canada employees only)
- Standard on Hazardous Substances (accessible to Public Services and Procurement Canada employees only)
- Standard on Personal Protective Equipment and Clothing for Employees (accessible to Public Services and Procurement Canada employees only)
- PWGSC’s Invitation to Offer document
- Provincial and territorial occupational health and safety legislation
- Provincial and territorial environmental protection legislation
- American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) Book (as amended from time to time)
- Canadian National Master Construction Specification—Asbestos Abatement Precautions
Please direct all enquiries regarding this standard to:
Senior Director, Environment, Health & Safety
Real Property Services, Public Services and Procurement Canada
Annex A: Evaluation of asbestos-containing materials and recommendations for control
1. Assessment of condition
1.1. Spray-applied fireproofing, insulation and texture finishes
In evaluating the condition of asbestos-containing material spray applied as fireproofing, thermal insulation, or texture, decorative or acoustic finishes, the following criteria apply:
- Surface of material shows no significant signs of damage, deterioration or delamination. Up to one percent of the surface area having visible damage to surface is allowed within range of Good. Evaluation of sprayed fireproofing requires the assessor to be familiar with the irregular surface texture typical of sprayed asbestos products. Good condition includes un-encapsulated or unpainted fireproofing, insulation or texture finishes where no delamination or damage is observed, and encapsulated fireproofing, insulation or texture finishes where the encapsulation has been applied after the damage or fallout occurred.
- Sprayed materials show signs of damage, delamination or deterioration. More than one percent damage to surface of asbestos-containing material spray.
In observation areas, where damage exists in isolated locations, both Good and Poor condition may be reported. The extent or percentage of each condition will be recorded on the survey or reassessment form.
Fair condition is not used or considered as a valid criterion in the evaluation of sprayed fireproofing, sprayed insulation, or texture coat finishes.
The evaluation of asbestos-containing material spray applied as fireproofing, non-mechanical thermal insulation, or texture, decorative, or acoustic finishes which are present above ceilings may be limited by the number of observations made, and by building components such as ducts or full-height walls that obstruct the above-ceiling observations. Persons entering the ceiling area are advised to be watchful for asbestos-containing material debris prior to accessing or working above ceilings in areas of buildings with asbestos-containing material, regardless of the reported condition.
1.2. Detection limit of bulk analysis
Asbestos-containing material is defined as any material found to contain asbestos at or above the limit defined by provincial/territorial standards for an asbestos-containing material, as determined by the allowable analytical method for the analysis of bulk samples (refer to Asbestos Management Standard, section 126.96.36.199). Except in the case of vermiculite, the provincially/territorially-regulated limits or generally-accepted guidelines to consider a material as an asbestos-containing material, subject to asbestos in buildings regulation, are provided as follows:
Minimum concentration to consider as an asbestos-containing material (by province)
- Quebec (includes part of National capital area) 0.1%
- Manitoba (for friable material) 0.1%
- Alberta Footnote 1 1.0%
- Saskatchewan (for friable material) 0.5%
- Ontario (includes part of National capital area) 0.5%
- Nova scotia 0.5%
- British columbia 0.5%
- all other provinces and territories (non-friable material in Manitoba, Saskatchewan): 1.0%
Note that these concentrations may change with regulatory amendments, therefore applicable legislation should be consulted to confirm that they are still valid.
Vermiculite is considered an asbestos-containing material in the presence of any concentration of asbestos measured in a composite sample taken in accordance with provincial/territorial sampling standards.
1.3. Mechanical insulation
In evaluating the condition of mechanical insulation (on boilers, breeching, ductwork, piping, tanks, equipment, etc.) the following criteria are used:
- Insulation is completely covered in jacketing and exhibits no evidence of damage or deterioration, that is no insulation is exposed. Includes conditions where the jacketing has minor surface damage (that is scuffs or stains), but the jacketing is not penetrated.
- Minor penetration damage to jacketed insulation (cuts, tears, nicks, deterioration or delamination), or undamaged insulation that has never been jacketed. Insulation is exposed but not showing surface disintegration. The extent of missing insulation should range from minor to none.
- Original insulation jacket is missing, damaged, deteriorated or delaminated. Insulation is exposed and significant areas have been dislodged. Damage cannot be readily repaired.
The evaluation of mechanical insulation may be limited by the number of observations made and building components such as ducts or full-height walls that obstruct observations. In these circumstances, it is not possible to observe each foot of mechanical insulation from all angles.
1.4. Non-friable and potentially-friable materials
Non-friable materials generally have little potential to release airborne fibres, even when damaged by mechanical breakage, but can become friable if disturbed by drilling or abrading.
1.4.1. Asbestos-containing material debris
188.8.131.52. Debris from friable asbestos-containing material
The presence of fallen friable asbestos-containing material is noted separately from the presumed friable asbestos-containing material source (sprayed fireproofing, thermal insulation, texture, decorative or acoustic finishes or mechanical insulation) and is referred to as debris.
The presence of fallen asbestos-containing material from damaged non-friable asbestos-containing material is reported separately from the non-friable asbestos-containing material source. Fallen non-friable asbestos-containing material that has become friable is reported as debris. Workers are advised to be watchful for the presence of debris prior to accessing, or working in proximity to, mechanical insulation or above ceiling areas of buildings with asbestos-containing material, regardless of the reported presence or absence of debris.
1.4.2. Evaluation of accessibility
The accessibility of building materials known or suspected of being asbestos-containing material is rated according to the following criteria:
- Access (A)
- Areas of the building within reach (from floor level) of all building users. Includes areas such as gymnasiums, workshops, and storage areas where activities of the building users (e.g. basketball on gym ceiling) may result in disturbance of asbestos-containing material not normally within reach from floor level.
- Access (B)
- Frequently entered maintenance areas within reach of maintenance staff, without the need for a ladder. Includes: frequently entered pipe chases, tunnels and service areas or areas within reach from a fixed ladder or catwalk, e.g. tops of equipment, mezzanines.
- Access (C) Exposed
- Areas of the building above 8'0" where use of a ladder is required to reach the asbestos-containing material. Only refers to asbestos-containing material materials that are exposed to view, from the floor or ladder, without removing or opening other building components such as ceiling tiles, or service access doors or hatches. Does not include infrequently-accessed service areas of the building.
- Access (C) Concealed
- Areas of the building which require the removal of a building component, including lay-in ceilings and access panels into solid ceiling systems such as a ventilation plenum. Includes rarely-entered crawl spaces, attic spaces, etc. Observations are limited to the extent visible from the access points.
- Access (D)
- Areas of the building behind inaccessible solid ceiling systems, walls, or mechanical equipment, etc., where demolition of the ceiling, wall or equipment, etc., is required to reach the asbestos-containing material. Evaluation of condition and extent of asbestos-containing material is limited or impossible, depending on the assessor’s ability to visually examine the materials in areas rated Access (D).
1.4.3. Action matrix and action descriptions
The action matrix below (Table 2) prioritizes the corrective actions in terms of potential health risk based on condition, accessibility, and potential for future disturbance.
The following factors shall be considered in making site-specific recommendations for corrective actions in conformance with the existing applicable regulation or codes of practice in most provinces, and for the practical implementation of asbestos management:
- Asbestos-containing material in Poor condition is not routinely repairable. If an abatement action is necessary, removal is the recommended action (enclosure is a viable option in unusual circumstances, e.g. where removal is difficult or costly and the asbestos-containing material can be thoroughly enclosed).
- Mechanical insulation in Fair condition will be repaired or removed based on the following general recommendations, applied on a case-by-case basis:
- Asbestos-containing mechanical insulation found in Fair condition in Access (B) or Access (C) Eeposed areas is to be repaired.
- Asbestos-containing mechanical insulation found in Fair condition in Access (B) and Access (C) Eeposed areas, where future damage to the asbestos-containing material is likely to occur, is to be removed.
- Asbestos-containing material in Good condition present in Access (A) can be managed by surveillance, as long as it is not disturbed by future renovation, maintenance or demolition. Proactive removal of the asbestos-containing material in Access (A) will be considered where damage is possible by ongoing occupant activity (accidental or intentional).
- Non-friable or manufactured products are considered in the action matrix as follows:
- Non-friable and manufactured products reported in Poor condition, or friable Debris resulting from the deterioration of non-friable asbestos-containing material, are treated as friable materials and the appropriate action, depending on accessibility, is determined from the action matrix for friable asbestos-containing material.
- For non-friable or manufactured products reported in Good condition, Action 7 (surveillance) is recommended regardless of accessibility.
- All asbestos-containing material from a particular area is to be removed where small quantities of asbestos are present and removal will negate the need for the use of an Asbestos Management Program in that area.
The action matrix provided below establishes the recommended asbestos control action. The Actions themselves are described in full following the table.
Table 2: Action matrix for determining actions required based on the location and condition of asbestos-containing materials.
|(A)||Action 5/7table 2 note 1||Action 5/6table 2 note 2||Action 3||Action1|
|(B)||Action 7||Action 6/5table 2 note 3||Action 3||Action 1|
|(C) exposed||Action 7||Action 6||Action 4||Action 2|
|(C) concealed||Action 7||Action 7||Action 4||Action 2|
|(D)||Action 7||Action 7||Action 7||Action 7|
Table 2 Notes
- Action 1
Immediate clean-up of debris that is likely to be disturbed.
Access that is likely to cause a disturbance of the Asbestos-containing material debris is to be restricted and clean up Asbestos-containing material debris is to be done immediately. Use correct asbestos procedures. This action is required for compliance with regulatory requirements and good practice. The assessor should immediately notify the Asset or Property and Facility Manager, or Regional/Area Asbestos Management Coordinator of this condition.
- Action 2
Entry into areas with asbestos-containing material debris requires intermediate risk precautions.
At locations where Asbestos-containing material debris can be isolated in lieu of removal or cleaned up, appropriate means to limit entry to the area is to be used. Access to the area is restricted to persons using intermediate risk asbestos-work precautions. The precautions will be required until the Asbestos-containing material debris has been cleaned up, and the source of the Debris has been stabilized or removed following intermediate risk (if minor) or high risk precautions.
- Action 3
Asbestos-containing material removal required for compliance.
Asbestos-containing material must be removed for compliance with regulatory requirements and good practice. Use asbestos procedures appropriate to the scope of the removal work.
- Action 4
Access into areas where asbestos-containing material is present and likely to be disturbed by access requires intermediate risk precautions.
Moderate risk asbestos precautions are to be used when entry or access into an area is likely to disturb the asbestos-containing material. Action 4 must be used until the asbestos-containing material is removed (Use Action 1 or 2 if Debris is present). Intermediate risk or high risk precautions should be used for removal (depending on extent of removal).
- Action 5
Proactive asbestos-containing material removal.
Removal of asbestos-containing material in lieu of repair may be considered, even if it is in Good condition at locations, where asbestos-containing material is easily accessible, limited in quantity, and removal would be cost-effective.
- Action 6
Asbestos-containing material repair.
Asbestos-containing material may be repaired if found in Fair condition and not likely to be damaged again or disturbed by normal use of the area or room. Upon completion of the repair work, asbestos-containing material is to be treated as being in Good condition and Action 7 is to be implemented. If asbestos-containing material is likely to be damaged or disturbed during normal use of the area or room, Action 5 is to be implemented.
- Action 7
Routine surveillance of the asbestos-containing material is to be instituted. Trained workers or service providers must use appropriate asbestos precautions (low, intermediate or high) during disturbance of the remaining asbestos-containing material.
Annex B: Asbestos-containing material reassessment
The following outlines the minimum requirements to include in all Asbestos Reassessment Reports.
Table of contents
The table of contents is to include a list of tables and a list of appendices. At minimum, appendices include:
- photographs of damaged asbestos (clearly labeled linking to findings tables); and
- the requirements set out in the Asbestos Management Standard
The following must be noted when preparing the executive summary:
- The executive summary is to be written in layman’s terms. Every effort must be made to use plain language, and where technical information is used, context must be given for the average reader.
- Reference is to be made to the previous year’s assessment/reassessment, and the status of any areas previously identified as Action level 1.
- When identifying asbestos materials, it is to be noted if the location is accessible to building occupants, maintenance staff, or service providers.
- The term “not compliant” is only to be used when referring to a regulation - the exact title of the regulation is to be cited, as well as the specific section where there is a compliance issue. Note: guidelines, and departmental/Employer policies and processes are not regulatory items and “compliance” terminology cannot be used for these type of documents.
The introduction is to include the following elements:
- The regulatory and “other” requirements are to be outlined:
- applicable requirements under the Canada Labour Code
- applicable provincial acts and regulations
- RPS policy/directive/standard requirements
- Limitations of the assessment conducted
Information must be included as to how RPS documentation is used when assessing condition of materials, as well as accessibility.
This section must include a general description of the building. Findings are to be presented in a table format as follows:
- Table 1—Summary of Findings (Action level 1—This must include any newly-discovered materials covered in Table 3 which are considered Action level 1). A note must be included stating that items in this table should be actioned as soon as possible.
- Table 2—Summary of Findings (for all materials other than Action level 1). A note must be included stating that items in this table are less urgent and can be addressed through long term action plans.
- Table 3—Summary of Findings (newly-discovered materials—if applicable)
Each table in which the findings are presented must use at a minimum the following headings (example provided):
- Room 812
- Material description:
- Pipe Fitting (parging cement)
- Friable (Y / N)
- 5 fittings
- C (concealed)
- Action level:
Conclusions and recommendations
State any conclusions reached and recommendations for further action.
If applicable, provide abatement strategies, including the following:
- the complexity of the abatement (low, moderate, or high risk); and
- a general description of the project, as well as the estimated scope/size of the abatement
- Date modified: