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Equivalent measures and procedures

The Regulation is able to cover a wide variety of asbestos work because it prescribes a limited number of measures or procedures for doing the work. This means that there may be other ways of carrying out the work that are equally protective of workers. Section 23 of the Regulation therefore permits the substitution of other equivalent measures or procedures, provided that they provide protection for the health and safety of workers that is at least equal to the protection that would be provided by complying with the Regulation.

Before using a varied/alternate measure or procedure, an employer or constructor must give advance written notice of the change to the joint health and safety committee(s) or to the health and safety representative(s) for the workplace. There is no requirement to notify the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development when using an equivalent measure and/or procedure.

In order to vary a measure or procedure required by the Regulation under section 23, what must be equivalent?

Section 23 allows a constructor or employer to vary a measure or procedure required by the Regulation, provided the measure or procedure, as varied, affords protection for the health and safety of the workers that is at least equal to the protection that would be provided by the Regulation.

Does this mean that based on a risk assessment, the employer may re-classify an operation? For example, carrying out a Type 3 operation as a Type 2 operation?

No. This section does not allow re-classification of the work. The work has already been classified under section 12 of the Regulation based on risk of asbestos exposure involved in the operation.

May the employer use section 23 to vary the respirator required by the Regulation?

The requirement under paragraph 11 of section 15, that "an employer shall provide every worker who will enter the work area with a NIOSH approved respirator in accordance with Table 2 and the worker shall wear and use the respirator" is a "measure" prescribed by the Regulation. Therefore, pursuant to section 23, an employer may vary a respirator required by the Regulation if the varied respirator affords protection for the health and safety of workers that is at least equal to the protection that would be provided by using the respirator prescribed by the Regulation, and the employer gives written notice of the varied respirator, in advance, to the JHSC or health and safety representative for the workplace.

Updated: May 03, 2022
Published: May 03, 2022