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CCOHS offers e-course to manage asbestos risks in the workplace

Will cover locating it, identifying risks, assessing hazards and what action to take.


HAMILTON — You’re not likely to find asbestos in new products and buildings but it’s still out there and presents a potential health hazard to workers who come into contact with it.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has launched an e-course to help manage asbestos-related risks in the workplace.

This mineral, no longer mined, was used in a range of manufactured products because of its heat-resistant and insulating properties. Before 1990, it was used mainly for insulating buildings and homes, and for fireproofing.

But when asbestos is dry, it can be crumbled, pulverized or powdered, releasing small fibres and clumps of fibres into the air as dust. Inhaling them can lead to respiratory illnesses such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Symptoms can take between 20 to 40 years, or longer to develop.

Risk of exposure is minimized or eliminated if the materials containing asbestos in a building are: tightly bound in the original product (and in good condition); sealed behind walls and floorboards; isolated in the attic; and left undisturbed.

The e-course, Asbestos in the Workplace, provides an understanding of the hazards, how to manage them and what action to take.

Click here for more information.

The Hamilton-based CCOHS provides information, training, education, management systems and solutions that support health and safety programs and the prevention of injury and illness in the workplace.

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