Our Services

  • ASBESTOS
  • HAZARDOUS BUILDING MATERIALS
  • INDOOR AIR QUALITY
  • MOULD & WATER DAMAGE
  • ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
  • OCCUPATIONAL HYGIENE
  • CONSTRUCTION-RELATED INFECTION CONTROL
  • INSURANCE & DISASTER RESTORATION DIVISION
  • TRAINING
  • RADON MONITORING
  • BUILDING SCIENCE

Hazardous Building Materials

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was historically widely used in building construction due to its thermal properties, electrical resistance and ability to withstand chemical breakdown. Asbestos can become a health threat when airborne; inhaling it can lead to asbestosis, lung and other cancers. Safetech can help with the identification and management of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in buildings and ensure that any building maintenance, renovation or demolition project requiring the disturbance or removal of ACM is conducted in a safe manner in accordance with regulations.

Services Provided by Safetech Include:

  • Asbestos Surveys and Re-assessments

  • Design and Implementation of Asbestos Management Programs
  • Design, Implementation and Management of Asbestos Abatement Projects
  • Inspection and Air Monitoring during and after Asbestos Abatement
  • Workplace Exposure Assessments through Air Sampling and Laboratory Analysis
  • Identification of ACM through Bulk Sampling and Laboratory Analysis
  • Asbestos Abatement Worker (MTCU Program 253W), Asbestos Abatement Supervisor (MTCU Program 253S) and Asbestos Awareness Training

REGULATION REGARDING ASBESTOS-CONTAINING MATERIALS (ONTARIO)

Ontario Regulation 278/05, “Designated Substance - Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations” governs the responsibilities of building owners, employers, constructors and workers pertaining to asbestos-containing materials (ACM). Highlights of this regulation include the following:

  • Bulk sampling and analytical requirements for the determination of ACM
  • Requirements for the owner building to have an asbestos survey of the building conducted to identify the location, friability and type of ACM
  • Requirements to maintain the asbestos survey and update it at least yearly
  • Specific measures and procedures (i.e., Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 operations) for the removal of ACM based on material friability and quantity
  • Requirements and specific procedures for clearance air testing for most Type 3 operations
  • Instruction and training requirements for workers involved in the removal of ACM, with specific training approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MCTU) required for every worker/supervisor involved in a Type 3 operation

Safetech is well versed with the requirements and nuances of Ontario Regulation 278/05. Let us help you with the identification, management and remediation of asbestos-containing materials at your facility.

Hazardous Building Materials

Found in virtually every building environment, materials such as asbestos, lead, silica and mercury are common components of building materials. These hazardous building materials can be a health hazard if they become airborne due to degradation or disturbance during maintenance, construction, renovation or demolition activities.

Safetech can help with the identification and management of hazardous building materials to ensure that any maintenance, renovation or demolition projects requiring their disturbance is conducted in a safe manner.

Services Provided by Safetech Include:

  • Hazardous Building Materials / Designated Substances Surveys Learn More
  • Design and Implementation of Hazardous Building Materials Management Programs
  • Design, Implementation and Management of Hazardous Building Materials Abatement Projects
  • Inspection, Air Monitoring and Sampling during and after Abatement
  • Workplace Exposure Assessments through Air Sampling and Laboratory Analysis
  • Identification of Hazardous Building Materials through Sampling and Laboratory Analysis
  • Hazardous Building Materials Education and Training

HAZARDOUS BUILDING MATERIALS / DESIGNATED SUBSTANCES SURVEYS

In Ontario, Section 30 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires a building owner to determine whether any designated substances are present at a project site prior to construction activities and disclose this information to prospective constructors, contractors and subcontractors as part of the bidding process. An owner who fails to comply with Section 30 is liable to the constructor and every contractor and subcontractor who suffers any loss or damage due to non-compliance.

What are Designated Substances?

Designated substances are a group of eleven individual contaminants that are known to be particularly hazardous and can cause significant occupational illness. The eleven designated substances include:

  • Acrylonitrile
  • Arsenic
  • Asbestos
  • Benzene
  • Coke Oven Emissions
  • Ethylene oxide
  • Isocyanates
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Silica
  • Vinyl chloride

In addition to designated substances, a hazardous building materials survey often also identifies a variety of other potentially hazardous materials such as:

  • PCBs
  • Ozone-Depleting Substances
  • Guano Contamination
  • Stored Chemicals
  • Mould Contamination
  • UFFI

A formal document that identifies these hazardous building materials within the area of renovation will provide contractors and subcontractors with the information they need to protect their workers as well as building occupants. Safetech can provide this document and the services necessary to ensure that any disturbance of hazardous building materials is performed safely to protect construction workers and building occupants from exposure.

Environmental Consulting Services

Heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, tightly constructed buildings, building-related pollutant sources and people-related pollutant sources can all play a role in the quality of air within buildings. Building occupants reporting thermal comfort issues or symptoms such as irritation of the eyes, nose and skin, headaches, fatigue, coughing, sneezing and nausea may be an indication of improper HVAC operation or poor building air quality.

Safetech offers a wide variety of indoor air quality (IAQ) services using state-of-the-art sampling equipment and following current IAQ standards and guidelines to provide the highest level of service.

Services Provided by Safetech Include:

  • General IAQ Assessments (measurement of thermal comfort and common IAQ parameters such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate, and volatile organic compounds)
  • Odour Investigations
  • Post-Fire Air Quality Testing
  • Radon Testing and Mitigation
  • Air Quality Monitoring during Construction or Renovation
  • LEED Air Quality Testing (IEQ Credit 3.2)
  • Air Sampling for Specific Contaminants (formaldehyde, ​​​allergens, mould, etc.)
  • Detailed HVAC Assessments
  • Duct Cleaning Assessment and Testing

Mould & Water Damage

MOULD

Mould is a normal component of outdoor air and therefore some level of mould of similar composition in indoor air is to be expected. However, under the right conditions (leaks, floods, condensation, high humidity, etc.) indoor mould growth can occur, resulting in the deterioration of building materials and an atypical build-up and composition of airborne mould. These conditions may lead to adverse health effects (most commonly allergic-type reactions), especially for susceptible individuals.

Safetech has extensive experience in assessing and remediating mould contamination. Our AMRT-certified personnel use state-of-the-art equipment and qualified laboratories to aid in identifying and eliminating mould contamination.

Services Provided by Safetech Include:

  • Mould and Water Damage Assessments
  • Marijuana Grow-op Assessments (in accordance with municipality and Electrical Safety Authority requirements)
  • Mould Air Sampling and Surface Testing
  • Design, Implementation and Management of Mould Remediation Projects
  • Inspection and Testing During and After Mould Remediation
  • Design and Implementation of Mould Management Programs
  • Mould Awareness and Remediation Training

In addition to mould, Safetech offers assessment, inspection and testing services related to a host of other common Biological Hazards.

WATER DAMAGE

In the case of major water damage events (such as catastrophic floods and leaks) it is important to properly evaluate the extent of water damage to building materials and contents so that materials can be dried expeditiously, indoor mould growth can be avoided and the damage can be mitigated.

Safetech knows the urgent response required to identify areas of water damage so that appropriate measures can be taken as soon as possible. Our team of WRT and ASD-certified personnel provide industry-leading response times and comprehensive assessments supported by the use of state-of-the-art equipment and qualified laboratories.

Services Provided by Safetech Include:

  • Water Damage and Flood Assessments
  • Design, Implementation and Management of Water Damage Restoration Projects
  • Inspection, Testing and Verification of Drying During and After Water Damage Restoration
  • Air and Surface Sampling for Contaminants Related to Water Damage (e.g., mould and sewage indicator bacteria)

Our mould and water damage services are part of a group of specialized services we offer to insurers, adjusters, restoration contractors and the insured through our Insurance & Emergency Restoration Division.

BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS

Biological hazards cover a wide range of substance of biological origin that can pose a threat to human health. This includes bacteria and viruses that can arise from a number of sources including sewage, insects, birds, animals and human bodily fluids.

Safetech has been involved in the assessment, testing and remediation of a number of biological hazards. Our team can help identify the source, develop and oversee a clean-up of contamination and perform final inspection and testing to ensure that the biological hazard has been sufficiently taken care of so that the location is fit for human occupancy.

Services Provided by Safetech Include Assessment and Testing for Biological Contaminants Associated With:

  • Unsanitary Water / Sewage
  • Water Systems (Legionella)
  • Trauma / Crime Scenes
  • Unsanitary Living Conditions (hoarders)
  • Hospital-Acquired Infections (MRSA, C. difficile)
  • Bird and Bat Guano (Histoplasmosis and Cryptococcosis)
  • Rodent Droppings and Urine
  • Insect Infestation (cockroaches, flies, bed bugs, etc.)
  • Mammal Infestation (raccoon latrines, etc.)

Environmental Services

Protection of the air, sediment, soil and groundwater from contamination is of the upmost importance for the preservation of our property, ecosystems and the environment. Spills, leaks, discharges and emissions from operations and processes have the potential to contaminate your property and surrounding properties. Environmental legislation can be confusing but it is important to ensure compliance for real estate transactions and for any operations that have the potential to discharge contaminants into the environment.

Safetech’s team of Professional Engineers, Certified Environmental Technologists and Environmental Technicians can help ensure that you are complying with environmental regulations and can assist you with your property transactions, obtaining environmental compliance approvals, and submitting any emission inventories required for your operations.

Services Provided by Safetech Include:

  • Phase I / Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (to CSA Standard)
  • Phase One / Phase Two Environmental Site Assessments (to O. Reg. Standard)
  • Contaminated Site Remediation
  • Records of Site Condition
  • Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECAs), Emissions Reporting, and Acoustical Assessments
  • Environmental Audits
  • Underground Storage Tank (UST) Decommissioning
  • Hydrogeological Studies and Investigations
  • Perimeter Air / Dust Monitoring during Building Demolition and Excavation
  • Drinking-Water Quality
  • Spill Response Assessments, Testing, and Clean-up
  • Forensic Site Investigations and Contaminants Source Determination and History

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE APPROVALS, EMISSIONS REPORTING, AND ACOUSTICAL ASSESSMENTS

If your facility releases contaminants into the air or creates noise, you may need an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA). The definition of a contaminant is very broad and can arise from commercial and manufacturing processes, sources of combustion, and sources of noise generation. This applies to most industrial facilities as well as several commercial, institutional and municipal facilities.

Some examples of where an ECA may be required include:

  • Spray Paint Booths
  • Commercial and Manufacturing Operations
  • Emergency Generators
  • Mobile Unit Sources
  • Boilers
  • Large HVAC Equipment
  • Cooling Towers
  • Other Sources of Air and Noise Emissions

Safetech specializes in preparing documentation packages in support of applications for Environmental Compliance Approvals and would be pleased to assist you with your ECA application.

Safetech also has expertise in assessing and inventory for a variety of other environmental emissions to ensure compliance with municipal, provincial or federal reporting requirements. This includes:

  • Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR)
  • Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) Reports
  • Noise Screening and Acoustic Assessment Reports (AARs)
  • Pollutant Release Inventories (NPRI, Ontario Regulation 127)
  • Noise Impact Studies
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Accounting Services

Indoor Air Quality Testing

Worker exposure to chemical and physical agents can occur as a consequence of their required work activities. Overexposure to these contaminants is a major cause of occupational illness among workers and can also result in significant costs for business through lost time and higher work place insurance premiums. Regulated under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, it is the duty of owners and other persons (including employers, supervisors and constructors) to ensure that the health and safety of workers is protected by taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances.

Safetech is experienced in the recognition, evaluation and control of workplace hazards. Our team of Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH), Registered Occupational Hygienists (ROH), Registered Occupational Hygiene Technologist (ROHT) and Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (CRSP) are able to determine compliance with applicable health & safety regulations and provide recommendations to improve workplace conditions.

Services Provided by Safetech Include:

  • Assessments to Comply with Ministry of Labour (MOL) Orders
  • Workplace Exposure Assessments to Chemical / Designated Substances
  • Noise Exposure Assessments
  • Heat Stress Assessments
  • Confined Space Assessments
  • Chemical Spill Assessments (e.g., mercury, hydrocarbons, etc.)
  • Workplace Safety Audits & Evaluations
  • Local Exhaust Ventilation Assessments
  • Respirator Fit-Testing
  • Laboratory Fume Hood Exhaust Decommissioning (e.g., perchloric acid, metals, etc.)
  • Globally Harmonized System (GHS) / Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 2015) Training

WORKPLACE EXPOSURE ASSESSMENTS

In Ontario, exposure to chemical substances in the workplace is regulated under Ontario Regulation 833, “Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents” and Ontario Regulation 490, “Designated Substances”. These regulations require employers to protect workers by restricting the amount and duration of exposure to hazardous biological or chemical agents. Depending on the substance(s) of concern, occupational exposure limits (OELs) may be regulated as one or a combination of a Time-Weighted Average Limit (TWA), Short-Term Exposure Limit (STEL) or Ceiling Limit (C). These OELs are set at levels that are expected to protect the majority of workers from the onset of specific adverse health effects.

A comprehensive workplace exposure assessment will not only identify whether the substance(s) of concern is in compliance with regulated exposure limits but will also assess exposure factors such as engineering controls, work practices, personal hygiene practices and personal protective equipment so that appropriate recommendations can be made.

Examples of Workplace Exposure Assessments Conducted by Safetech Include:

  • Welding and Soldering Operations (welding fumes, metals and gases)
  • Spray Paint Operations (various volatile organic compounds and isocyanates)
  • Foam Applications (isocyanates)
  • Anodising Operations (fluorides, sulphuric acid)
  • Paint Manufacturing Facilities (lead, fluorides, nitric acid)
  • Stone and Concrete Works (silica and other airborne particulate)
  • Woodworking Facilities (wood dust, methyl methacrylate, butyl acrylate)
  • Salons and Hairdressing Facilities (ammonia, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds)
  • Operating and Recovery Rooms (anesthetic gases including nitrous oxide, sevoflurane, desflurane and isoflurane)
  • Histology Labs, Autopsy Suites and Anatomy Laboratories (formaldehyde, ethanol, toluene)
  • Transit and Trucking Facilities (nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, particulate)

Whatever the operation or contaminant of concern, Safetech can design and implement an exposure assessment plan to ensure you are in compliance with regulations and your workers are safe from exposure.

Mould & Water Damage

Healthcare facilities are unique from other buildings in the sense that they have a population with reduced health status and weakened immune systems. This makes healthcare patients particularly susceptible to nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections. Construction, renovation or maintenance activities that may involve the disturbance of dust/mould or manipulation of the water distribution system are known causes of nosocomial infections if appropriate control measures are not taken during this work.

Safetech has significant experience and a great deal of expertise working in healthcare facilities. Our trained personnel follow in-house policies for infection control when required to perform inspection and testing work within these environments. Our knowledge of construction-related infection control standards and guidelines also allows us to ensure that construction and renovation projects in healthcare facilities are carried out safely, following appropriate preventive measures.

Services Provided by Safetech Include:

  • Pre-Construction Assessments / Preventive Measures Analysis
  • Design and Preparation of Construction-Related Infection Control Project Specifications
  • Inspection and Air Quality Monitoring (mould, particulate, etc.) Prior to, During and Post-Construction
  • Water Quality Monitoring for Legionella
  • Mould and Water Damage Assessments and Remediation / Restoration Activities
  • Construction-Related Infection Control Awareness Training

Construction Related Infection Control

When a major loss such as a flood or fire occurs, a coordinated response by a team of professionals is required to mitigate the loss, assess the extent of damage and determine an accurate scope of work for restoration. These losses often create health & safety hazards for first responders, restoration personnel and building occupants that need to be identified and handled appropriately.

Safetech has developed a dedicated Insurance & Disaster Restoration Division to respond to the specific needs of these projects. Our qualified and experienced professionals understand the requirements of the insurance and emergency restoration industry. We respond in a timely manner and provide adjusters, insurers, restoration contractors, the insured and other materially interested parties with the information they need to conduct the work safely and quickly, ensuring due diligence while also allowing for faster estimating and reserve-setting times.

Services Provided by Safetech Include:

Flood / Water Loss Claims:

  • Moisture Mapping
  • Hazardous Materials Identification
  • Mould and Sewage Assessments
  • Preparation of Emergency Restoration Scope of Work for Restoration
  • Site Inspection and Testing Prior to, During and Post-Restoration

Fire Claims:

  • Assessment for Fire Residues (soot)
  • Hazardous Materials Identification
  • Preparation of Emergency Restoration Scope of Work
  • Site Inspection and Testing Prior to, During and Post-Restoration
  • Post-Fire Air Quality Testing

Fuel Spill Claims:

  • Contamination Assessment
  • Soil and Groundwater Sampling
  • Preparation of Emergency Remediation Scope of Work
  • Post Clean-up Verification Sampling
  • Air Quality Testing

Environmental Services

Safetech offers a wide variety of training courses to our client groups. Course content is designed to meet the needs of many stakeholders and is continually updated to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and guidelines. Each training course offered by Safetech is provided by in-house instructors with years of hands-on field experience. This allows us to provide real-world examples and case studies to enhance the training experience with practical information.

Our training is provided on an as-required basis. We service both individuals and groups and offer competitive group rates. We are flexible in meeting your required timelines and can arrange to provide the required training at our training facility or off-site at your facility or at a particular workplace.

Training Courses Provided by Safetech Include:

  • Asbestos Awareness
  • MTCU-Approved Asbestos Abatement Worker (253W)
  • MTCU-Approved Asbestos Abatement Supervisor (253S)
  • Mould Awareness and Remediation
  • Confined Space Awareness
  • Construction-Related Infection Control Awareness
  • Designated Substance (Lead, Silica, Mercury, etc.) Awareness
  • WHMIS 2015 / GHS  

MOULD AWARENESS AND REMEDIATION

This training course is offered in either a half-day (4 hour) of full day (8 hour) format. The half-day course is designed for property managers, facility managers, maintenance personnel, joint health & safety committee members and other individuals who need to be able to identify potential mould issues and should have an awareness of the hazards and proper procedures for mould control and remediation. The full day course is more in-depth and covers specific remediation requirements and procedures applicable to mould remediation workers and supervisors.

Topics Covered Include:

  • Biology of Mould
  • Conditions for Mould Growth and Preventative Measures
  • Health Effects
  • Mould Assessment and Identification Techniques
  • Air and Surface Sampling Techniques and Interpretation of Results
  • Mould Remediation Guidelines
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Remediation Equipment and Materials
  • Remediation Techniques
  • Inspection and Testing for Remediation

CONSTRUCTION-RELATED INFECTION CONTROL AWARENESS

This training course is offered in either a half-day (4 hour) of full day (8 hour) format. The half-day course is designed for health care facility employees (administrators, facility managers, medical and nursing staff, environmental services personnel, maintenance personnel, etc.) and disciplines involved in construction projects (architects, engineers, constructors, etc.) to provide an understanding of the hazards of construction and renovation work in health care facilities and the measures and procedures necessary to control these hazards. The full day format provides a more in-depth look at the preventive measures and procedures required for construction-related work and provides hands-on instruction in the construction of enclosures, work procedures and cleaning procedures for construction personnel involved in maintenance, renovation, demolition and construction work in health care facilities. The courses can be tailored to the specific infection control policies and procedures adopted by the health care facility.

Topics Covered Include:

  • Definition and Causes of Nosocomial Infections
  • Sources of Construction-Related Nosocomial Infections
  • Case Studies of Construction-Related Nosocomial Infections
  • Review of Construction-Related Infection Control Policies, Standards and Guidelines
  • Identification of Risk Groups and Construction Types
  • Preventive Measures Analysis and Procedures
  • Engineering Controls, Equipment and Materials
  • Work Procedures
  • Clean-up Procedures
  • Site Inspection and Monitoring

WHMIS 2015 / GLOBALLY HARMONIZED SYSTEM

This training course is offered as either a 2 hour refresher or a half-day (4 hour) awareness. Each course is designed to educate workers in organizations of all sizes and in all occupations where hazardous products are used. The refresher course is designed for those workers that have had previous WHMIS training while the awareness course is designed for those workers that have not had any previous WHMIS training. Each course educates workers about the hazards of the products they use and will teach them how to recognize and understand the hazards through information provided on supplier labels and in safety data sheets so that they can follow the appropriate protective measures to protect their health and safety.

Topics Covered Include:

  • WHMIS 2015 Legislation Overview
  • Duties of Suppliers and Employers
  • Symbols / Pictograms and their Hazards
  • Supplier Labels Contents Overview
  • Safety Data Sheets Contents Overview
  • Procedures for Safe Use, Storage, Handling and Disposal
  • Emergency Procedures

DESIGNATED SUBSTANCE AWARENESS

These half-day (4 hour) training courses are designed to educate workers involved in work activities that require the handling or disturbance of a specific designated substance (such as lead, silica or mercury). Each course can be tailored to the particular job or work process so that personnel are aware of the specific hazards related to the work and know the proper procedures to be followed in order to protect themselves from exposure.

Topics Covered Include:

  • Background on Sources of the Designated Substance
  • Health Effects
  • Applicable Regulations, Standards and Guidelines
  • Engineering Controls, Equipment and Materials
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Work Procedures
  • Clean-up Procedures
  • Site Inspection and Monitoring

Construction Related Infection Control

RADON TESTING AND MITIGATION

Radon is a naturally occurring colourless and odourless radioactive gas that stems from the nuclear decay of uranium, which makes up a large portion of the Earth's crust. It can enter buildings through cracks in floors, crawl spaces and service lines as well as through plumbing. Once radon has entered a building it can build up to potentially unsafe levels, increasing an individual's risk of lung cancer. According to Public Health Ontario, "13% or almost 850 lung cancer deaths each year in Ontario are attributable to radon.” Studies by Health Canada attribute indoor radon exposure as "the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoking.”

Health Canada’s guideline for radon in indoor air is 200 becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3) and they estimate that about 7% of Canadian homes and 8.2% of Ontario homes are above this level. Health Canada provides guidance for radon measurement in residential dwellings (homes) and public buildings (workplaces, schools, day cares, hospitals, care facilities and correctional facilities). Radon is also covered under the Tarion new home warranty program for a period of 7 years after construction. This means that the cost of radon mitigation is not coming out of a home owner’s pocket.

The Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP) designations are proof that an individual possesses the skills and knowledge to conduct radon testing, assessment and mitigation. As a member of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST) and with C-NRPP Certified Radon Measurement Providers, Safetech is able to provide comprehensive radon services including:

  • Radon Testing and Assessments
  • Design and Testing of Radon Mitigation Systems
  • Development of Radon Management Plans
  • Radon Resistant New Construction Design and Installation Oversight

Construction Related Infection Control

Buildings are in continuous state of deterioration and distress; unless, they are properly preserved. Safetech’s team of professionals can provide consulting services to restore the buildings to their original state which will extent the buildings life expectancy. Safetech offers wide range of building science and project management services; our comprehensive Building Condition Assessments will help building owners prioritize restoration projects and future investment. Safetech can provide technical specifications, and tender and contract documents to execute restoration projects based on results of the building condition assessment report.

Building science services provided by Safetech include the following:

  • Building Condition Assessments
  • Structural Assessments
  • Structural Analysis associated with Wind, Fire, Flood and Explosion events
  • Building Envelope Assessments including brick masonry assemblies, precast walls and window systems
  • Roof Assemblies Assessments
  • Project Management: design specifications, tender documents, quality assurance and contract administration.
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