Asbestos Management Program for City Employees
As part of its Asbestos Management Program, the City will be re-inspecting/inspecting all City owned or operated buildings. An approved contractor and/or trained staff will complete the re-inspections/inspections on behalf of the City. This typically involves a visual inspection and laboratory examination of building materials to determine asbestos content (if any) and to update site records.
Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are very common in buildings constructed prior to the mid-1980s. While intact, ACMs pose negligible health risk and only become hazardous when they are damaged or disturbed by water, maintenance activities, building reconstruction projects, or vandalism.
Please do not disturb any building materials in your work location. For any repairs or regular maintenance, please notify your building manager or the Facilities Management Division, and staff will arrange for the necessary work to be completed. In the event that building materials are disturbed, please do not clean up any debris or disturb further. Specific staff and the City’s representatives have been trained and have the necessary tools and equipment to carry out repairs or removal in a safe manner, in order to maintain a healthy work environment.
More information is available in the following ways:
- A list of frequently asked questions is provided below, or click to view or download a PDF version.
- Email the City of Brantford Asbestos Management Specialist.
- Call the City of Brantford Asbestos Management Hotline at 519-759-4150, ext. 2259.
- Training - Training sessions have been provided for property and building managers, joint health and safety committee members and select facility supervisors. Asbestos Awareness Training is available to all City employees via Lotus Notes.
- Where will asbestos be if it is in my work space?
- Building materials known to contain ACMs include (but are not limited to):
- Sprayed-on fire-proofing on structural steel members
- Floor materials – vinyl sheet flooring and floor tiles
- Ceiling tiles (mostly 12” x 12,” seldom 2’ x 4’ or 2’ x 2’)
- Boiler system insulation (parging cement and air-cell) – piping and fittings such as valves, elbows, tees, hangers and gaskets
- HVAC system insulation – on chillers, duct work, gaskets
- Drywall joint compound (drywall mud)
- Texture coatings – stucco, layers of plaster
- Asbestos-containing vermiculite (granular-type insulation found in attics and wall cavities)
- Cement (Transite) materials – siding, roof sheets, underground sewer piping, tiles
- Fire-stop and fire-shield materials
In commercial, institutional and industrial buildings, the use of ACMs is more common than in residential buildings. Please note that ACMs that remain intact pose negligible health risk.
- Are other municipalities facing these same issues?
- Yes, the legislation applies to all building owners in Ontario, including municipalities.
- Where can I get more information?
- Online Information: City of Brantford Website at http://www.brantford.ca/AMP
Telephone Hotline: 519-759-4150 extension #2259
Intranet: located in your Lotus Notes application
City Staff: Joint Health & Safety Committee members for your area, Health & Safety Division, Supervisors and Property Managers
Updates will be made available to all employees on an ongoing basis as part of the City of Brantford’s Asbestos Management Program. Site records will be on-site for each building or available through the Property Manager for the respective building.
As part of its Asbestos Management Program (AMP), the City will be re-inspecting/inspecting all City owned or operated buildings. An approved contractor and/or trained staff will complete the re-inspections/inspections on behalf of the City. This typically involves a visual inspection and collection of samples for laboratory examination of building materials to determine asbestos content, if any, and update site records.
- Who is responsible for legislation about asbestos in buildings?
- ACMs are legislated by Ontario Regulation 278/05 entitled, “Designated Substance – Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations,” which is made under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and is enforced by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour.
- What buildings owned by the City are included?
- The City of Brantford AMP applies to all City owned and operated buildings. City owned or operated facilities built prior to the mid-1980s will be re-inspected/inspected for ACMs. If ACMs are present (and in poor condition) in a City owned or operated building, they will be repaired or removed, as may be required.
- What will happen now?
- Each building will be inspected or re-inspected, which may include sampling and analysis from discrete locations. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibres during sampling/analysis is negligible. Employees and occupants can be present. Contractors are trained in the process of sampling/analysis and the use of control measures and will be following approved procedures to carry out their work.
- When will I know if there are any asbestos containing materials in my workspace?
- Within four weeks of inspection/re-inspection for ACMs, a site record will be developed and posted in the building. If there are any serious concerns, an information meeting will be scheduled to provide additional details and answer any further questions you may have.
- How many buildings does the City own or operate?
- The City owns and or operates approximately 120 building structures that include occupied and non-occupied buildings such as City Hall, storage units, parks and recreation facilities, pumping stations, on-site washroom facilities, etc.). In addition, the City owns and or operates approximately 16 multi-residential housing communities and 60 single-family homes.
- Why didn’t someone tell me about asbestos containing materials that may be in my workspace before?
- The City of Brantford continues to develop its AMP which includes the re-inspections/inspections of all City owned or operated buildings. While significant levels of work have been completed, compliance has yet to be achieved which includes the communication of site records to all tenants, employees and contractors. It is the intent of the City to review compliance levels for each City owned or operated building and take the required action for each as part of its AMP.
- What should I do if I think there is asbestos in my workspace?
- Please do not disturb any building materials. For any repairs or regular maintenance, please contact the Facilities Management Department. Staff will arrange for the necessary work to be completed. In the event that building materials are disturbed, please do not clean up any debris or disturb further. Staff and the City’s representatives have been trained and have the necessary tools and equipment to carry out repairs in a safe manner, in order to maintain a healthy environment.
- Who is going to re-inspect/inspect the buildings?
- The City will be hiring experienced consultants to conduct inspections, build an inventory and develop site records.
- When will someone take the asbestos containing materials out if any are found?
- Legislation does not require that all ACMs have to be removed. Based on the condition of the material and its potential for disturbance, repair or removal of the ACMs may be required. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis. All employees will be notified in advance of any repair/removal.
- How much will this cost the City?
- At this time the City is completing the re-inspections and inspections of all City owned and operated facilities with the purpose of developing a comprehensive building inventory on a room-by-room, building-by-building basis. These inspections will also identify any further actions required by the City. Until this information is complete the costs to the City are unknown.
- Should I stop doing my work?
- If your work involves the disturbance of ACMs and therefore is creating an airborne hazard, then yes, stop work immediately and contact the Health & Safety Division so the nature of the work can be assessed by trained staff.
It is the City of Brantford’s intention to manage ACMs in accordance with legislation. If ACMs are present (and in poor condition) in a City-owned or operated building, they will be repaired or removed, as may be required.
If ACMs are present in mass quantities and found to be in poor condition, such that repair or removal of ACMs means temporarily displacing an employee from their workspace, appropriate accommodations will be made. Note: displacement would only occur when high hazards or high risk situations exist, and are often rare occurrences.
- When will I find out more about asbestos containing materials in my workspace?
- Upon completion of re-inspection/inspection, a site record will be developed for each building with contact information and procedures on what to do in the case of damage or disturbance to suspected ACMs. Information sessions will be scheduled accordingly to review with building occupants and employees the procedures to follow, who to call and what to expect before conducting any building repair or renovation.
- What is the plan to deal with the asbestos containing materials?
- The City of Brantford will hire expert consulting firm(s) to conduct re-inspections/inspections on behalf of the City. The result will be a citywide inventory of ACMs for all City owned or operated buildings. From this inventory, site records will be developed and posted in a visible and accessible location at each building.
Training programs will be provided for Joint Health & Safety Committee members, City employees, supervisors, property managers, building technicians and contractors, to educate on hazards, reporting procedures, project planning, types of asbestos and removal procedures (as applicable) and control measures.
The City of Brantford will continue to develop its AMP, including procedures for the property maintenance and handling of ACMs. It will include preventative measures to reduce the probability of damage to ACMs as well as procedures for routine maintenance, cleaning, responses and ongoing annual re-inspections.
The City of Brantford will communicate with all employees regarding the relevant information and notification of any repairs or removals.
The City will retain the services of qualified consultants and contractors to evaluate and remove/repair ACMs, as required, in order to maintain a healthy environment.
- Who will be responsible for the Asbestos Management Program and answering my questions?
- Jill Thompson, RN – Manager of Health, Wellness & Safety, City of Brantford
- Who is going to remove or remediate asbestos containing materials?
- The City intends to pre-qualify and compile a list of qualified asbestos abatement contractors experienced in Type I, II and III asbestos abatement procedures.
- When will someone come to re-inspect/inspect for asbestos containing materials?
- Building occupants and employees will be given five days’ notice prior to inspection/re-inspection for ACMs. It is estimated that re-inspections/inspections will begin in January with an estimated completion date of July 2013, subject to the retention of qualified consultants.
- What is the City’s responsibility regarding asbestos in City-owned or leased buildings?
- The City’s obligation is to effectively manage asbestos containing materials (ACMs) by development, implementation and maintenance of an AMP which is intended to disclose the location, type and condition of asbestos containing materials, if any, in buildings owned or operated by the City. Other aspects of the program include worker training, reporting procedures, inspection at regular intervals and repair or removal of ACMs as may be required.