FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOV. 19, 2020
Regina, Sask., Nov. 19, – WorkSafe Saskatchewan has released a number of tips for homeowners and contractors to stay safe and aware of the potential for asbestos in their home before starting construction and renovation projects. Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of work-related deaths in Saskatchewan. It is dangerous to construction workers and do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners alike.
Asbestos has been banned in Canada since Dec. 30, 2018. However, asbestos-containing materials were common building products in homes built before 1990. Although asbestos-containing products are generally safe when left undisturbed, they become brittle over time and can crumble. The popularity of DIY projects has heightened the likelihood of asbestos exposure for homeowners.
Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause chronic, irreversible and life-threatening lung diseases. These diseases, which can appear several decades after exposure, include asbestosis (a lung scarring disease), lung cancer and mesothelioma. This year alone there has been 10 asbestos work-related deaths in Saskatchewan.
“Unfortunately, asbestos-related fatalities continue to dominate Saskatchewan statistics on work-related deaths,” says Kevin Mooney, vice-president of prevention and employer services at the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board. “It’s one of the invisible hazards every worker, homeowner and business owner needs to be aware of. It’s important they understand and know what is expected of them before any construction is started on an existing building.”
WorkSafe Saskatchewan’s asbestos awareness materials include safety tips for homeowners and contractors to keep in mind as they work on renovations during the fall and winter seasons. Topics include:
- the danger of asbestos
- when you should test for asbestos
- where asbestos could be hiding in your home
- hiring an asbestos abatement professional
- checking the asbestos registry for Saskatchewan
For more information about asbestos, including a complete list of safety tips, visit worksafesask.ca/asbestos.
About WorkSafe Saskatchewan
WorkSafe Saskatchewan is an injury prevention and workplace safety partnership between the WCB and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. Through the partnership, both agencies offer programs and support that help employers and workers develop workplace safety and health programs. You can reach WorkSafe Saskatchewan at 1.800.667.7590. Follow us on Twitter: worksafesask, YouTube: youtube.com/worksafesask or on Facebook: facebook.com/WorkSafeSK for real-time updates.
Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board
Download the news release.