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Hazardous Building Materials Assessment

Legal and Financial Risks

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Hazardous building materials can impact all building industries including residential, commercial and industrial.  The management of hazardous building materials poses legal and fiscal challenges for those in the construction, real estate and property management fields.


The failure to deal with these hazardous materials may be a major risk and a possible economic loss whether for renovation, demolition, sale or new construction.

Who can be impacted?

The groups potentially impacted by hazardous building materials include:

  • Occupants, Tenants, Workers and Employees
  • Commercial and Residential Property Management Companies
  • Industry Suppliers and Contractors
  • Manufacturing Companies
  • Construction Companies
  • Real Estate Developers

Possible Risks include:

  • Health impacts - workers, residents, occupants and tenants
  • Environmental impacts - waste disposal, resource utilization
  • Legal costs - fines and/or criminal prosecution, civil suits
  • Financial - poor sales/re-sales and/or losses of leases
  • Publicity - tenant and owner relationships

The Hazards:

Common hazards include but are not limited to:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Silica
  • Man-made Mineral Fiber (MMMF)
  • Mould
  • PCBs
  • Cleaning Materials
  • Paints, Adhesives, Solvents, etc.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Regulations and standards that may influence the management of hazardous building materials include:

  • Construction Projects, O. Reg. 213/91
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act Part III, Duties of Employers and Other Persons;
  • Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair
  • Operations, O. Reg. 278/05
  • Designated Substances Regulations;
  • Ontario Fire Code;
  • Ontario Building Code;
  • Chlorobiphenyls and PCB Storage Regulations;
  • ASHRAE standards

What Should You Do?

  1. Develop a hazardous materials inventory and update yearly.
  2. Develop work practices and procedures for handling hazardous materials for either routine maintenance or major renovation/demolition.
  3. Develop and implement any required training. Those supervisors and/or workers involved with the handling of hazardous materials will require training as well as emergency response personnel.
  4. Develop a plan to move to "green" building materials and "sustainable sites" for routine maintenance and renovations

Helpful Web Links:

Ontario Ministry of Labour

Ontario Ministry of the Environment

Building Owners and Managers Association

Construction Association of Ontario

Canadian Construction Association

Canadian Green Building Council

How can LEHDER assist?

LEHDER has extensive experience with hazardous materials identification through:

  • Phase I and Phase II assessments,
  • Mould investigations,
  • Indoor air quality assessments,
  • Hazardous Building Materials Assessment, and
  • Noise surveys.

LEHDER's Industrial Services Group can assist in the management of hazardous
Materials from the identification step to the development of safe handling procedures for the maintenance/renovation/demolition to help meet your regulatory requirements.

For further information or questions regarding hazardous materials assessment and management, please contact:

Brian Goodman at (519) 336-4101 ext. 229 bgoodman@lehder.com
Linda Raes at (519) 336-4101 ext. 252 lraes@lehder.com

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