Occupational Health and Safety Message

Dear members of the University community,

As part of its ongoing health and safety measures, the University recently commissioned surveys to determine whether asbestos containing materials (ACM) may be present in areas where construction or maintenance work was scheduled.

Results indicate that ACM is present in two areas, that were not identified in previous surveys: in the ceiling space at Simard Hall and in the chimney lining of boiler 3 at the Power Plant.

According to Health Canada, before 1990 asbestos was widely used in Canada for insulating buildings and homes against cold weather and noise. It was also used for fireproofing. As long as the ACM is undisturbed, Health Canada considers that there are no significant health risks.

Some employees from Facilities, Information Technology Services (IT), Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) and Protection Services who worked in the ceiling space at Simard and the Power Plant may have recently been unintentionally exposed to ACM. The University has notified these employees of the survey results and has taken measures to ensure their safety.

The University has also taken a number of measures to mitigate risks and is working with the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee has also been informed. As well, all University buildings are being surveyed to determine the presence of ACM.

The University will continue to take measures to ensure the safety of its community and will keep you informed of future developments.

For more information on asbestos, please consult our FAQ.

Robert Bourgeois
Interim Vice-President, Resources

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