Asbestos in the Workplace

These naturally occurring fibrous minerals are found throughout the world, including Canada. Because it has heat-resistant and insulating properties, asbestos was used in a wide range of manufactured products such as structural fireproofing and insulation, cement, plaster, and textiles.

Health risks

Workers who inhale asbestos fibres, particularly over long periods of time, are at risk of:

Asbestos in Canada

Workers at risk include

Construction trade persons
Plumbers and pipefitters
Plaster and drywall installers
Sheet metal workers
Auto mechanics
Custodial workers

Controlling asbestos

When asbestos is present, a control program to protect workers from exposure must be in place that addresses:

Asbestos exposure occurs when the fibres are airborne. Asbestos can be encapsulated and, therefore, the risk of exposure becomes low. Precautions are necessary when renovating, demolishing, removing, sanding, or doing similar activities.

*Source: CAREX Canada. Asbestos.