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Airborne Contaminants – 2023 Year in Review


Jul 13: Alberta issued an OHS approval giving employers the option to use an alternative method to adjust the occupational exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica for work shifts lasting longer than 8 hours. Specifically, employers may now consider weekly work schedules in determining the need to adjust the respirable crystalline silica OEL.

Action Point: Implement a legally sound airborne contaminant exposure control plan at your workplace.



Sep 5: WorkSafeBC began accepting applications for asbestos abatement licences ahead of the new OHS regulations requiring asbestos abatement contractors to be licensed by January 1, 2024.

Action Point: Implement an Asbestos Exposure Control Plan at your workplace.



Apr 11: Newly proposed OHS regulations reduce exposure limits for diesel exhaust in underground mines while also allowing for the use of track-mounted robots fitted with high-definition cameras to identify loose rocks, misfired explosives and other safety hazards in mines. The new rules take effect on July 1, 2023.



Aug 30: With hurricane season and power outage risks coming to their peak, the PEI WCB issued new safety tips to help employers safeguard their workers from carbon monoxide poisoning hazards, especially those that rely on portable generators to keep their businesses running.

Action Point: Take measures to protect your workers against carbon monoxide poisoning at work and at home.



Apr 6: With power outages raging across much of the province, CNESST reminded employers and workers to be extra careful around carbon monoxide, including tools or heaters that may release the gas. Ensure the area is well ventilated and be alert to the signs of carbon monoxide inhalation, including headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, impaired vision, sleepiness and convulsions.

Action Point: Take measures to protect your workers against carbon monoxide poisoning at work and at home.


May 24: CNESST proposed new Construction Safety Code regulations to beef up protections against workers exposed to crystalline silica dust at construction sites, including via use of source exhaust ventilation systems, isolating workers from emission sources and containment of and/or moistening of dusts containing crystalline silica.