Hazardous Material/Designated Substances Assessments

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), there are eleven designated substances that are regulated and must be controlled for on a construction, renovation or demolition project.  Of the eleven substances, four are commonly associated with buildings.  These include asbestos, lead, mercury and silica.  Under Section 30 of the OHSA, before beginning a project, an owner is obligated to determine whether any designated substances are present at the project site and to provide a list of all designated substances to prospective contractors.  Additionally, O.Reg. 278/05 specifically regulates the disturbance of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) on construction projects and requires building owners to inform contractors of the presence of ACMs prior to requesting tenders or contracting the work.


Contractors are in turn obligated to inform their sub-contractors of the presence of these materials.  The potential impacts for not making contractors aware of the presence of harmful materials at an owner’s facility may include orders and steep fines from the Ministry of Labour, project delays and associated cost overruns if the MOL shuts down the project not to mention the potential for work refusal and negative publicity.


This is where OnPoint can help you comply with these regulations with what’s referred to as a “pre-renovation” or “pre-demolition” hazardous materials or designated substances “assessment”, “survey” or “audit”.  At a minimum, an assessment completed by OnPoint will review your project site or facility for the presence of asbestos, lead, mercury and silica as required by legislation.  As other hazardous materials such as mould, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), ozone depleting substances (ODS) and other biological contaminants (i.e. bird, bat or rodent droppings) may be present, a review for these additional materials may be included depending on the nature of your facility, the construction project scope of work and project budget constraints.


A renovation project may also be a good time to consider a comprehensive asbestos assessment of your entire facility as a cost effective means to meet the requirements of your project as well as to manage asbestos-containing building materials on a long-term basis as required under O.Reg. 278/05.

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Pre-Construction Assessments

Pre-construction or demolition assessments for designated substances including asbestos are a must in Ontario.