Notice of Asbestos in Buildings

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The following information is provided to all members of the University of Waterloo community, pursuant to Ontario Regulation 278/05 – Designated Substance – Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations.  Please ensure that everyone in your building or sector of responsibility has a copy of this document.

The University of Waterloo has updated its Asbestos Management Program, conforming to the Ontario Regulation 278/05 made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act that governs Asbestos in Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations.

Asbestos was commonly used in building materials across North America until the mid-1980’s. Some of our buildings do contain asbestos and may include sprayed fire proofing, insulation, vinyl floor tiles, drywall joint compound, plaster, ceiling stipple, ceiling tiles and laboratory bench tops. An updated inventory of the presence of asbestos of our buildings has recently been completed.

Asbestos poses a health risk ONLY when fibres are present in the air that people breathe.   The risk increases with the degree of exposure.  However, Health Canada says that there is no significant health risk on condition that the asbestos containing materials are not disturbed.

In the event that renovations, repairs and construction are necessary and there is a chance of disturbing the asbestos, the University adheres to strict regulations and legislation to protect everyone who works or lives in areas that may contain asbestos, including the repair and construction workers.  Only competent workers with specialized training are authorized to do work that may disturb asbestos fibres.

Please be assured that thorough and specific safety and environmental measures are in place for this work.  If you require repair or alteration of your workplace, you must contact Plant Operations for them to perform the work.

If you have any concerns or questions about asbestos, please talk to your Supervisor or the Safety Office (extension 30190).  For further information about asbestos, visit the Safety Office website:

Asbestos Program

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