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Asbestos Planned Inspectional Initiative (Residential Enforcement)

Asbestos-related lung diseases are preventable, yet exposure to asbestos remains the leading cause of work-related deaths in British Columbia. As part of on-going efforts to address this problem, WorkSafeBC will continue with an enforcement initiative aimed at reducing occupational disease and death caused by exposure to asbestos in residential demolition and on renovation worksites.

With proper planning and oversight of work, employers in the residential demolition and renovation industry can reduce or eliminate the risk of worker exposure to asbestos fibres.

Our goals

The goals of the Asbestos Planned Inspectional Initiative (Residential Enforcement) are to:

  • Prevent exposure to asbestos at all phases of demolition and renovation worksites
  • Ensure workers are educated and trained in asbestos awareness and that workers and employers understand their responsibilities
  • Ensure a copy of the hazardous materials inspection report is available at the worksite whenever workers are on site
  • Ensure owners, qualified people (i.e., consultants), abatement contractors, and demolition and renovation contractors meet their health and safety obligations to ensure:
    • Asbestos containing materials are identified and properly assessed before conducting any work where asbestos may be disturbed and the results are clearly communicated to all site workers.
    • Asbestos containing materials that are identified are safely contained or removed prior to conducting further demolition and renovation work.

Our focus

Officers will undertake prevention activities (i.e., inspections, consultation, and education) with owners and other employers, including qualified persons (i.e., consultants), abatement contractors and demolition contractors working at residential demolition and renovation worksites.

  • Continue with abatement and social media outreach and communication programs in support of the strategic focus areas
  • Continue to deliver associated tools and resources for officers, employers, supervisors, and workers
  • Collaborate with key industry stakeholders on targeted initiatives, and deliver key messaging and education to employers and workers
  • Collaborate with WorkSafeBC internal stakeholders

Learn more about the new asbestos training, certification, and licensing requirements that may apply to you or your workers.

What you can do

Our Asbestos pages provide resources and information on how to understand and address some of the health and safety issues to focus on in your industry.

The provincial government has made amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that establish requirements that asbestos abatement contractors must be licensed to operate in British Columbia, and that workers who perform this work must complete mandatory safety training and obtain certificates. Learn more about these requirements.