New WorkSafeBC Regulations on Building Investigation and Renovation

The AIBC would like to inform members and associates that there has been a change in WorkSafeBC requirements regarding investigation or renovation work in existing buildings. WorkSafeBC had previously required identification of hazardous materials (such as lead or asbestos) in pre-1990 buildings, prior to any requiring cutting or disturbing of materials (such as drywall). With recent revisions to their regulations, they now require this to be done in buildings of any age. They are observing that, as a result of free trade agreements, materials are being installed in new construction, from off-shore sources, that contain hazardous materials above local acceptable levels. Below are links to the regulation and guidelines, updated February 1, 2015.

What this means for architectural firms (or engineers) doing investigation or renovation work, is that they must obtain, from the owner of the building, a report identifying any hazardous materials before proceeding. This WorkSafeBC change may require professionals to educate their clients, as building owners may not yet be aware of this change in WorkSafeBC regulations.

The AIBC would like to thank the Building Envelope Committee for bringing this issue forward.

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