Asbestos in the Workplace is a new e-course The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) recently launched to help individuals recognize, assess and manage asbestos-related risks at work. While the use of asbestos in newly-installed products has diminished greatly in Canada in recent decades, many older applications remain in buildings, homes and products.
The e-course will provide employers, health and safety advisors, committee members, building owners, and property managers with an understanding of the hazards associated with asbestos and how to manage and take action against them.
“Workers who are exposed to asbestos are at risk of developing serious diseases years after they are exposed,” said CCOHS President and CEO Gareth Jones. “It is our hope that the guidance in this course will help promote safe work and prevent further asbestos related illnesses.”
Participants can expect to learn how to find sources of asbestos in the workplace, how to identify situations that could pose a risk of asbestos exposure, how asbestos hazards are assessed, and how to access legislation and other resource materials to help manage asbestos in the workplace.
Before 1990, asbestos was mainly used for insulating buildings and homes and for fireproofing, and in many products found in construction and commercial industries. When disturbed, it releases fibres into the air as dust that workers breathe in. Health effects such as asbestosis and changes in the lining of the lungs are well documented. All forms of asbestos have been shown to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma. The average time from exposure to developing health effects related to asbestos exposure (latency period) can be very long, usually 20 to even 40 years or more.
Abestos in the Workplace was developed by subject specialists in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and government to ensure the content and approach is unbiased and credible.