Owners of commercial property should be aware of the regulations necessary to keep the building safe for its tenants and their employees.  If asbestos is found in the structure and it is determined that it should be removed, then the owners and managers should acquaint themselves with the safety guidelines that are in place for its safe removal and disposal.  Asbestos comes in various forms and quantities.  It will take an expert to understand the necessity of its removal and a qualified team of workers with specialized training and experience to complete the asbestos abatement properly.

One of the first things that happen is the removal company will set up a decontamination unit.  This is to establish “dirty” and “clean” areas.  The space designated as clean is where the equipment and protective gear is stored before use.  The dirty area is where anything will be decontaminated.  Disposable wipes are used to sanitize all surfaces and objects.  Personal protective gear is vacuumed and wiped.  Respirators are decontaminated under specific guidelines.  All of this is completed before the site is vacated at the end of the day.  That means any gear, tools, or machinery is fully cleaned and stored in the designated area for the safety of the asbestos workers as well as others.


Any debris, including the used wipes or other cleaning materials, are double-bagged and sealed.  They are properly disposed of per regulations.

Another early preventive measure is the plastic sheeting used as shields.  This must be a minimum of 6 mils thick and must be new for every project.  It is never reused from a previous job.  It is also disposed of according to law.

You will notice that the workers will have access to clean water, clean buckets, and fresh rags.  There will be a waste container as well as waste bags for the asbestos.  The abatement company will post warning notices and barricades to prevent entry by anyone other than the asbestos removal company.  All building vents will be covered to prevent fibers or dust from contaminating parts of the building that are not involved in asbestos materials.

As the asbestos-containing materials are scheduled for removal, the pieces are sprayed with soap and water.  This is to prevent unwanted fibers, dust, or debris from spreading more than necessary.  The waste is carefully placed in double-bagged, 6 mils thick, plastic bags.  They are taped closed and placed in a bin prominently labeled as hazardous waste.  It is never sent down chutes or thrown carelessly.  This is to prevent bag tearing and sending dangerous asbestos into the surrounding air.  The workers are careful to avoid breaking materials more than necessary in the removal process.  It is never crushed into the ground or floor.

Debris and Contaminated Materials

All of the contaminated materials are hauled to a dump site that is specific for the disposal of hazardous waste and specifically asbestos.

Asbestos removal is regulated by both Provincial and federal laws and guidelines.  While the use of asbestos has been banned for decades, there are still many commercial buildings that have asbestos within their make up.  All buildings should be checked for asbestos, especially older structures. Contact a commercial general contractor to learn more.


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