The Government of Saskatchewan is opening regional flood recovery centres to provide onsite access to information, programs and services for those affected by recent flooding events in the province.  Anyone who is experiencing any flood issues is welcome to come to the Centres including residents, small businesses, agricultural operations, communal organizations, nonprofit organizations, parks and communities in general.

Centres will open in Carnduff, Moosomin, Grenfell, Esterhazy, Balcarres, and Yorkton.

Learn more about the flood recovery centres.

Asbestos

Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause chronic, irreversible and life-threatening lung disease. These diseases can occur several decades after exposure, include asbestosis (a lung scarring disease), lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Older buildings, especially those constructed prior to 1980, may contain asbestos. Although asbestos is typically found in structural materials, repairs, maintenance, renovations and other processes may disturb asbestos-containing materials (ACM) and release asbestos fibres into the air.

For this reason, employers, contractors and owners are required to:

  • identify and label asbestos containing materials (ACM) that can release asbestos fibres;
  • regularly check and maintain ACM to prevent any fibre release; and
  • develop written control plans to prevent the release of asbestos fibre into occupied areas when maintenance, repairs, renovations or other work may disturb ACM.

There are some cases where working with asbestos is considered a high-risk process. Employers, contractors and owners must notify the Occupational Health and Safety Division 14 days before the process starts by completing a Notification of High Risk Asbestos Process Form. The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 provide details on high-risk processes.

The Guidelines for Managing Asbestos in Buildings is a helpful resource that provides specific steps to take when managing asbestos.

There are some cases where working with asbestos is considered a high-risk process. Employers, contractors and owners must notify the Occupational Health and Safety Division 14 days before the process starts by completing a Notification of High Risk Asbestos Process Form. The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 provide details on high-risk processes.

The Guidelines for Managing Asbestos in Buildings is a helpful resource that provides specific steps to take when managing asbestos.

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1. Safe Handling and Removal of Asbestos

To control exposure to asbestos in the workplace, building owners and employers need to:

  1. Identify and create an inventory of all asbestos-containing materials in the building.
  2. Inspect all asbestos-containing material identified in the inventory list and determine if any damage exists.
  3. Train all staff who are expected to work with or near asbestos about safe work procedures before they begin work that could disturb asbestos.
Any material likely to contain asbestos is considered to be asbestos-containing material until it is determined to be asbestos-free.
1. Identify and create an inventory of all asbestos-containing materials in the building.

Building owners and employers must ensure that a competent person creates an inventory of all asbestos-containing materials in the building. The inventory can be completed by reviewing the building’s architectural plans and performing a walk-through inspection of the building. (The figure on the reverse of this bulletin will give you an idea of common uses of asbestos in building construction and insulation.)

2. Inspect all asbestos-containing material identified in the inventory list and determine if any damage exists.

After all asbestos-containing material has been identified and listed (inventoried) it must be carefully inspected for damage. If damage exists, building owners and employers must decide on the safest method for addressing this damage, based on the use of the asbestos (i.e. thermal insulation, ceiling tile, etc.), amount of damage, potential for asbestos fibres to be released into the air (creating an exposure hazard), etc.

Although the method to address any damaged asbestos material must be decided on a case-by-case basis, some methods include:

  • Removing all or part of the asbestos (abatement);
  • Sealing the surface of the asbestos (encapsulation); and/or
  • Building an air-tight barrier over the asbestos (enclosure).
3. Train all staff who are expected to work with or near asbestos about safe work procedures before they begin work that could disturb asbestos.

Before any work begins with or near the asbestos material, building owners and employers must develop and put safe work procedures in place. The purpose of safe work procedures is to eliminate or control potential worker exposure to asbestos. Workers must be trained in these procedures, according to their job duties and comply with these procedures.

While some workers may only need to know where the asbestos material is located, and to be careful not to disturb or damage the material, others who are expected to work with or near the asbestos material, (i.e. maintenance staff) will require more specific training on its handling, removal and disposal.

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2. Saskatchewan Asbestos Registry of Public Buildings

The Public Health Act, 1994 requires buildings owned by the Provincial Government, Crown Corporations, Treasury Board Crowns, school boards, and regional health authorities and facilities to post information about the presence of asbestos in public buildings. The Occupational Health and Safety regulations provide clarity of definitions, what forms of asbestos are to be reported, and indicate what information is required to be reported, such as characteristics, accessibility, and location. Compliance and enforcement of the Act and regulations came into effect on June 1, 2014.

Owners are now required to assess asbestos-containing material (ACM). This includes characteristic information such as friability (a material is friable if it can be crushed using hand pressure), concentration of asbestos in the material, and specific details about the material for easy identification such as colour, shape, size, texture. They also need to describe its accessibility, such as if the ACM is controlled by physical barriers (e.g., enclosed by gyprock walls or inside cindercrete block, encapsulated with a sealant common in stipple ceiling materials, cloth or metal wrapped pipe or painted putties or joint compounds). A safety professional, a consultant or person who has asbestos knowledge, education and training can do this assessment.

Building owners should use the Sample Asbestos Registry Form to submit the required information. Once the registry form is complete, the form can be emailed to Labour.Webmaster@gov.sk.ca.

Building owners must review the information currently posted on the Registry to ensure they are complying with the recent regulatory changes. Missing information will require a new submission to the registry. The information submitted will be posted as is on the registry.

Note that, as asbestos changes occur, the registry must be updated. For example, if pipe insulation is removed, and it is listed on the registry as ACM, the change must be communicated to the Registry. If buildings are sold to owners not prescribed by The Public Health Act, 1994, or bought by prescribed owners the information must be submitted to the registry.

Employers, contractors and owners can deem material as asbestos containing until it is determined to be asbestos free. For example vintage vinyl tiles from the 50s and 60s can be deemed and listed as potential asbestos containing materials. Materials deemed as ACM must meet all legislative requirements.

Saskatchewan Asbestos Registry of Public Buildings

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3. Disclaimer

Warranty Disclaimer

This website and the Asbestos Registry contain information that may be voluntarily posted by public agencies. Information on this website and in the Asbestos Registry is provided as a public service by the Government of Saskatchewan. This website, the Asbestos Registry, and all of the information it contains is provided strictly "as is" and without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.

We cannot guarantee that all information is complete, current, or accurate. Users should verify information before acting on it.

There may be websites linked to and from this site that are operated, created by, or for organizations outside of the Government of Saskatchewan. Those organizations are solely responsible for the operation and information (including the right to display such information) found on their respective websites. The linking to or from this site does not imply on the part of the Government of Saskatchewan any endorsement or guarantee of any of the organizations or information (including the right to display such information) found on their respective websites.

Limitation of Liabilities

The information found on this website and the Asbestos Registry is for informational purposes only, and may only be used on the strict understanding that neither the Province nor its ministers, employees, or agents, nor any of the public agencies which voluntarily post information, shall be liable to any persons for any loss or damage of any nature, whether arising out of negligence or otherwise, which may be occasioned as a result of the use of information provided on this website, or information provided at any other website that can be accessed from this website.

The information on this website and in the Asbestos Registry is for public, informational purposes only, and does not in any manner supersede or derogate from The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1979 and The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993.