WorkSafeBC is reminding asbestos abatement employers and workers to ensure they meet new asbestos abatement requirements taking effect next year. Starting Jan. 1, 2024, asbestos abatement employers must be licensed to operate in B.C., and anyone performing asbestos abatement work must complete mandatory safety training and obtain a certificate.
With only two months left in the year, WorkSafeBC is urging asbestos abatement employers and workers to act now, if they haven’t already done so, to ensure they are licensed and certified before the new requirements come into effect on January 1.
Training and certification
WorkSafeBC is implementing mandatory training for asbestos abatement workers to help keep workers and the public safe from the dangers of asbestos.
Anyone performing asbestos abatement work in relation to buildings must be certified by completing training from a WorkSafeBC-approved training provider and passing a written exam. A practical assessment may also be required for some certification levels.
The level of certification a worker needs depends on the type of asbestos work being done. An online tool is available to help workers determine which level of certification they need.
Workers will need to contact training providers directly to learn more about their asbestos abatement training offerings, including dates, length of training, location, and cost. A list of approved training providers is posted on worksafebc.com.
Once a worker is certified, the certificate will be valid for three years.
Starting on January 1, asbestos abatement employers will need to hold a valid Asbestos Abatement Licence (AAL) to operate in B.C. To be issued a licence, an employer or an independent asbestos abatement operator must be registered with WorkSafeBC.
Once an application is submitted, it will generally take two to six weeks to process. Licences will be valid for one year and must be renewed annually. There is no fee to apply for a licence.
Once a licence has been issued, the licensee information will be added to an online registry. This allows other businesses, contractors, and homeowners to identify who is licensed to perform asbestos abatement work in B.C.
The new regulations also include an obligation for owners and prime contractors to ensure that, before permitting a contractor to carry out asbestos abatement work at a workplace, the asbestos abatement contractor holds a valid licence issued by WorkSafeBC.
To help inform asbestos abatement employers on the new requirements, an employer forum is being held virtually on Nov. 8, 2023. This follows two worker forums that were held in September and October.
Workers and employers with questions on the new requirements can call WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Information Line at 1.888.621.7233.
The new requirements for asbestos licensing and certification were brought in by the provincial government through amendments to the Workers Compensation Act in the spring of 2022. The changes were made to further protect people and the environment from the dangers of asbestos.
- Media backgrounder: Asbestos Training, Certification and Licensing
- Asbestos training, certification & licensing
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WorkSafeBC engages workers and employers to prevent injury, disease, and disability in B.C. When work-related injuries or diseases occur, WorkSafeBC provides compensation and support to people in their recovery, rehabilitation, and safe return to work. We serve 2.6 million workers and 270,000 employers across B.C.
More info.: WorksafeBC