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For temporary foreign workers and new immigrant workers: Asbestos training and certification

WorkSafeBC is implementing mandatory training and certification for asbestos abatement work to help keep workers safe from the danger of asbestos. As of January 1, 2024, anyone performing asbestos abatement work must complete mandatory safety training and obtain certificates.

Asbestos was widely used in B.C. as a building material until the early 1990s, and it can still be found in many buildings today.

How workers are exposed

Anyone who repairs, renovates, or demolishes buildings in B.C. is at risk of inhaling asbestos fibres. Found in dozens of types of building materials, asbestos breaks down into small fibres as it ages or when it is disturbed. Touching or moving it releases the fibres into the air, where they can linger for hours.

Workers with the highest risk of breathing the fibres include:

  • Demolition and renovation workers
  • Workers who transport and dispose of asbestos-containing waste materials
  • Carpenters, plumbers, and electricians
  • Maintenance crews for apartment buildings, municipalities, school districts, etc.

Supporting temporary foreign workers and new immigrant workers

Asbestos exposure is the number one killer of workers in B.C. It’s important for all workers to understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to workplace health and safety, and to understand the dangers of asbestos.

The following information may be helpful for organizations that interact with immigrants and newcomers who may do asbestos work, to help them to learn about the hazards and the new training and certification requirements.

See also the following translated webpages about training and certification for asbestos abatement workers: