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Understanding Asbestos: Promoting Awareness and Compliance for a Safer Working Environment

By Niels Versfeld, Senior Director - Environmental Services.

Asbestos, a widely used material in construction, poses significant health hazards if not handled properly. According to Canadian Occupational Safety, it continues to be the number one workplace killer in Canada, accounting for a third of all deaths. Discover the dangers of asbestos and the importance of compliance with regulatory guidelines in the construction industry, and learn about its health risks, identification, and management to protect workers' well-being through MBC Group and our accredited Continuing Education (CE) courses. By understanding the health risks associated with exposure and the regulations governing its management, we can create a safer working environment and protect individuals' well-being.

The Properties and Historical Use of Asbestos: Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre known for its durability and fire-resistant properties. It was extensively used in building materials for its unique properties and versatility. However, due to its health risks, the use of asbestos is now highly regulated in Canada, with strict guidelines and protocols in place to protect workers and the public from exposure.

Health Risks and Impact of Asbestos Exposure: Disturbing or damaging materials containing asbestos release microscopic fibres into the air, which, when inhaled, can cause severe health issues. It is essential to be aware of the presence of asbestos-containing materials to prevent accidental exposure and minimize health risks. Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, with symptoms often appearing decades after exposure.

Identifying and Managing Asbestos-Containing Materials: Knowing where asbestos may be present in buildings is crucial for effective management and maintenance. Asbestos can be found in various construction materials such as insulation, floor tiles, pipe insulation, and textured coatings. Professional assessments and inspections can help identify potential asbestos-containing materials and ensure their safe handling or removal.

MBC Group's Contribution to Asbestos Awareness: To address the pressing need for asbestos awareness, MBC Group actively participates in providing an accredited Continuing Education (CE) course on Asbestos Awareness. This course focuses on comprehensive knowledge and insights into asbestos-related issues, covering topics such as the identification of asbestos-containing materials, health risks associated with exposure, and current regulations governing asbestos management. To comply with upcoming legislation, we also offer work certification to ensure compliance with new licensing requirements from Bill 5, which takes place in January 2024. By sharing this knowledge and raising awareness, we aim to contribute to a safer and healthier working environment.

Creating a culture of asbestos awareness is crucial in the field of environmental services. we can safeguard the health of workers, occupants, and contractors by understanding the risks associated with asbestos exposure, identifying its presence in buildings, and complying with regulations. Through continued education and sharing valuable insights, together, we can foster safer environments, minimize risks, and protect future generations from the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. Let us work together to create a safer working environment for all.



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