Category: Hazardous materials

Photo of gloved hand with paint sprayer pointed at repair on car

WorkSafeBC inspectors see too many manufacturing shop workers spraying paint in makeshift booths or other areas not designed to control the hazards.  Reading this new bulletin from WorkSafeBC, Reducing the risk of fires or explosions when spraying flammable products, made me think about a friend of mine who uses a lot of flammable substances at […]

Photo of person with crowbar in hand removing drywall

Not dealing with asbestos properly can result in fines or stop-work orders that can harm your professional reputation. A new WorkSafeBC video explains more.  It is really worth the risk? That’s what WorkSafeBC asks construction contractors in the video Asbestos: Why risk it? It’s a reminder of their obligation to manage asbestos safely and responsibly. […]

Photo of construction worker using saw to cut concrete

Silicosis is a disease that destroys lung tissue. A new online tool helps employers protect workers from exposure to dusts that cause it.  Whenever I hear about silica exposure, I’m reminded of the construction worker I wrote about in my post To mask or not to mask. He was in a café, covered in grey […]

In 2015, Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) was updated to be in line with similar systems in the United States and other countries. It’s now referred to as WHMIS 2015 and also as the globally harmonized system (GHS). It’s being rolled out gradually until 2018, to give workers, employers, and suppliers enough time […]

“Only use brake pads that do not contain asbestos. When ordering aftermarket replacement brake pads, check to confirm that the product identifies or confirms that it does not contain asbestos,” warns the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

Let’s put the spotlight on exposure to silica dust in stone, bricks, tile, and gravel. Workers who grind, cut, and haul these materials are at risk of developing silicosis – a lung disease that destroys lung tissue and restricts a person’s ability to breathe.

Since 2000, 14 workers in the US have died while refinishing bathtubs. All the deaths involved the use of paint-stripping products containing methylene chloride: “a highly volatile, colorless and toxic chemical that is widely used as a degreaser and paint stripper.”