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Designated Substances and Hazardous Material Surveys

Speak with a Designated Substance and Hazardous Materials Specialist.  In Toronto, call 416.575.6111. Free consultation.

Certain substances are designated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other legislation in the province of Ontario. The legislation will set limits for exposure to these substances that are known to be a health hazard and regulate their handling and disposal.

These include (but are not limited to):

  • Asbestos
  • Silica
  • Mercury
  • Lead
  • PCB’s
  • Ozone Depleting Substances

Ministry of Labour Stop Work Orders

The Ontario Ministry of Labour issues a Stop Work Order where there is a question around the safety of workers on site. This can occur:

  • When a worker is injured or killed
  • During routine inspections

Basically, the order means that work has to cease until the site is proven to be safe. A Hazardous Material Survey can be your key to lifting a Stop Work Order or avoiding one in the first place.

Hazardous Material Surveys

We will conduct the Hazardous Material Survey for each area in question and prepare a survey report that details the type, amount and condition of the materials.

We will also provide a list of recommendations as they relate to the regulatory requirements.

That means that before you go into a work site or area containing these materials, you’ll know exactly what is there and how you can deal with it effectively to ensure your safety and that of your workers.  Much of our work deals with sites contaminated by lead and/or silica.

Guidelines for Lead and Silica Construction Projects

The Toronto area is home to many older buildings that can still carry old problems – like lead. Lead was used extensively in both construction and manufacturing in the past and is still present in many existing buildings, both commercial and residential. Disturbing lead-based paint, sheeting, plugs or mortar that contains lead can produce dust that can be ingested by humans if it’s inhaled or gets into food or drink or on your hands.

While they are completely different as far as their chemical content, lead presents many of the same kinds of issues as silica. Silica is typically found as sand or quartz dust and is used in many glass products, fiber optics for telecommunications, stoneware and porcelain, among others.  In terms of a construction site, the hazard occurs when the material is disturbed or demolished, resulting in airborne dust.

While lead is outright toxic, silica dust can result in skin and eye irritation, respiratory issues and with long term exposure, can result in a permanent scarring of the lungs called silicosis. It’s been deemed a carcinogenic substance.

Depending on the nature of the work, regulated guidelines may include:

  • Posting signs warning of the hazard
  • Wearing protective clothing
  • Using protective equipment such as air purifying respirators
  • Physical barriers
  • Providing decontamination facilities
  • Mechanical ventilation

Environmental Services Group provides air monitoring services during construction, demolition and sand blasting on construction sites to ensure that the levels of airborne silica and lead are controlled. Environmental Services Group can ensure that proper containment of work areas where silica will be released into the air are set up to control the dust and exposure to workers.

Speak with a Designated Substance and Hazardous Materials Specialist.  Call us today for Designated Materials and Hazardous Material Survey Services.  In Toronto, call 416.575.6111. Free consultation