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Hazardous Material

Hazardous materials can be present in any building. Disturbing these materials during renovations or demolition can result in workers and building occupants becoming exposed to a variety of hazards.

Hazardous Materials Investigations

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Hazardous materials can be present in any building. Disturbing these materials during renovations or demolition can result in workers and building occupants becoming exposed to a variety of hazards. To prevent exposures to hazardous materials they need to be identified before work starts and precautions taken to prevent exposures. Demolition and renovation work will disturb all materials in a house or building. These can include:

  • Silica in plaster and concrete
  • Mercury in thermostats and fluorescent tubes
  • Fuel oils
  • Animal droppings
  • Ozone depleting substances
  • Mould
  • Radioactive materials in smoke detectors
  • Arsenic in pressure treated wood

WorkSafeBC requires that hazardous materials be identified before they are disturbed and that precautions be put in place to prevent people from being exposed. Many municipalities require that hazardous materials be identified before permits are issued. Hazardous materials should be identified, and a plan to deal with them developed, as part of any renovation or demolition project. Doing this work at the start of a project will reduce delays in getting permits and may avoid having the job shut down by WorkSafeB C.