Services / Lung Health Testing Services

Asbestos Exposed Worker Program

Asbestos, a term for a group of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals, is a dangerous human carcinogen that can cause cancer or other serious and often deadly lung conditions when inhaled.

SureHire's Asbestos Exposed Worker Program involves regularly scheduled health assessments of workers who are exposed to this harmful substance. The results of these tests serve as a means of documenting a baseline evaluation which, when compared to later assessments, can indicate changes which may have occurred due to exposure over time. This allows for the early detection of any issues and provides an opportunity to investigate the cause of any changes.

Both SureHire's Comprehensive and Basic Lung Health Medical Monitoring Programs comply with federal and provincial asbestos-related legislation.

- Comprehensive Lung Health Medical Monitoring Program Basic Lung Health Medical Monitoring Program
Lung Health Questionnaire x x
Fit to Wear Respirator Questionnaire x
Spirometry Screen x x
Chest X-Ray x x
Quantitative Mask Fit x None
Pulmonary Specialist Review x x
Employee Results Letter x x
Pulmonary Specialist Assessment If Required If Required
Employer Statistical Report x x

SureHire representatives are available at your convenience to discuss which Lung Health Medical Monitoring options are the right fit for your company.

Different Test Types

Results from a series of questionnaires, tests, and assessments are necessary to develop a baseline of your employees' health. These may include:

  • Lung Health Questionnaire
  • Fit-to-Wear Respirator Questionnaire
  • Spirometry Screening (lung function test)
  • Chest X-Rays
  • Quantitative Mask Fit Testing
  • Pulmonary Specialist Review/Assessment

Once a baseline has been established, annual monitoring will make it possible to detect changes in worker health that may be caused by exposure to asbestos.

Understanding the Results

The tests and assessments included in the Asbestos Exposed Worker Program may identify existing respiratory conditions or the development of new conditions. Some results may require the employee to abstain from further exposure to asbestos in order to prevent further damage from occurring.

If you would like more information on asbestos, and how it could affect you or your workforce check out the video below!

 

Asbestos fibres are released into the air when materials which contain them are disturbed. When these fibres are inhaled, serious lung conditions can develop. These conditions often take a long time to progress but also can be deadly. Mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis, and pleural thickening are all known to be caused by inhaled asbestos.

The results of SureHire's Asbestos Exposed Worker Program provide a baseline evaluation. Regular monitoring can indicate any changes which may have occurred due to asbestos expose over time. Early detection of any issues is crucial for mitigating further damage to the lung health of your workers which may affect the quality or length of their life.

Legal Implications

Employers are required by federal and provincial legislation to provide medical monitoring for any workers exposed to asbestos. Failure to do so may result in fines, legal action, and put your employees at risk of serious, and often fatal, health conditions.

Booking

Please contact SureHire for more information on which lung monitoring program is suitable for your company's needs. Individual tests and assessments included in the program can be booked both by phone or online.

FAQs

WHAT IS ASBESTOS?

Asbestos is a general term for a group of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals. The three main types of asbestos are chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos).

WHERE IS ASBESTOS FOUND?

Asbestos can be found in any industrial or residential building built or refurbished before the year 2000 and is in many common building materials installed during that time, such as:

  • Attic and wall insulation containing vermiculite
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on walls and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape     
  • Oil and coal furnaces, as well as door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile clutches and brakes

WHY IS ASBESTOS HARMFUL?

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious lung conditions that often take a long time to develop but, once diagnosed, can be deadly. Asbestos can cause the following conditions:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestos-related lung cancer
  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural thickening

It is also important to remember that people who smoke and are also exposed to asbestos fibres are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.

HOW CAN I PROTECT MY EMPLOYEES FROM EXPOSURE?

It is important to ensure that any employees who may be handling materials which may include asbestos have received proper training. In many provinces, workers must complete a course through an accredited agency. You must also ensure that workers are wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) including respiratory protective equipment that provides appropriate protection from asbestos exposure.

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON ASBESTOS REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS?

Provincial government websites will often have OHS regulations which can be reviewed and/or downloaded.

f/cc = fibers per cubic centimeter

stel = short term exposure limit (15 min. maximum)

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed, asbestos fibres are released into the air. If these fibres are inhaled, they can cause serious lung conditions. These conditions often take a long time to develop but also can be deadly. Asbestos is known to cause the following conditions:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestos-related lung cancer
  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural thickening

Participation in SureHire's Asbestos Exposed Worker Program will determine a baseline evaluation of your overall health. Routine monitoring can help to detect any changes to your lungs that may have occurred, and early detection is key in preventing further damage or the aforementioned illnesses from developing.

It is also important to remember that people who smoke and are also exposed to asbestos fibres are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.

What can I Expect?

There are a number of questionnaires, tests, and assessments that will be necessary for you to participate in in order to gain a full picture of your overall health. Depending on the version of the Asbestos Exposed Worker Program that your employer has opted for, these may include:

  • Lung Health Questionnaire
  • Fit-to-Wear Respirator Questionnaire
  • Spirometry Screening (lung function test)
  • Chest X-Ray
  • Quantitative Mask Fit Testing
  • Pulmonary Specialist Review/Assessment

What are my Rights?

It is the duty of your employer to help protect your lung and pulmonary health and to inform you of the hazards you may be exposed to at work. Participation in the Asbestos Exposed Worker Program can be a vital tool in the early detection of problems.

You can help protect yourself by ensuring that you receive proper asbestos handling training. In many provinces, each worker must complete a certified course through an accredited agency. Each worker must also ensure that they are wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) including respiratory protective equipment that fits properly and is appropriate for asbestos exposure.

FAQs

WHAT IS ASBESTOS?

Asbestos is a general term for a group of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals.

The three main types of asbestos are chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos).

WHERE IS ASBESTOS FOUND?

Asbestos can be found in any industrial or residential building built or refurbished before the year 2000. It is in many of the common materials used in the building trade.

It can be found in any of the following places:

  • Attic and wall insulation containing vermiculite
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile clutches and brakes

WHY IS ASBESTOS HARMFUL?

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious lung conditions that often take a long time to develop but, once diagnosed, can be deadly. Asbestos can cause the following conditions:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestos-related lung cancer
  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural thickening

It is also important to remember that people who smoke and are also exposed to asbestos fibres are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM EXPOSURE?

You can protect yourself by ensuring that you receive the proper training. In many provinces, each worker must undergo a certificate course through an accredited agency. Each worker must also ensure that they are wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) including respiratory protective equipment appropriate for asbestos exposure. Talk to your employer if you have any questions or concerns.

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON ASBESTOS REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS?

Provincial government websites will often have links to OHS regulations which can be reviewed and/or downloaded, such as WorkSafe BC and the Government of Alberta Website.

The following information has been retrieved from CAREX Canada:

f/cc = fibers per cubic centimeter

stel = short term exposure limit (15 min. maximum)

Canadian Jurisdictions Asbestos Form OEL (f/cc)
Canada Labour Code chrysotile
other
1.0
0.1
AB, BC, MB, NL, NS, ON all 0.1
PE amosite
crocidolite
chrysotile
other
0.5
0.2
2.0
2.0
QC actinolite, athyophyllite, chrysotile, tremolite
amosite, crocidolite
1; 5 [stel]
0.2; 1 [stel]
YT amosite
crocidolite
chrysotile, tremolite
0.2, 2 [stel]
0.1
0.5; 5 [stel]
NT, NU amosite, tremolite
crocidolite
other
0.5; 2.5 [stel]
0.2; 1 [stel]
2; 10 [stel]
SK all No limit listed, special instructions for high-risk activities
Other Jurisdiction Asbestos Form OEL (f/cc)
ACGIH 2014 TLV all 0.1
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