OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 4 Chemical Hazards, Biological Hazards and Harmful Substances

Section 28 General provision for asbestos, silica, coal dust and lead

This section lists an employer’s general obligations in cases where asbestos, silica, coal dust or lead are present at a work site. The requirements of sections 28 to 43 do not override or replace the more general requirements presented in sections 16 to 27.

An employer must minimize potential worker exposure to the substances by

(a) minimizing their release to the air,
(b) removing unnecessary accumulations of the substances, and
(c) using proper decontamination methods to prevent the generation of airborne dust.

These requirements are intended to apply to all situations in which asbestos, silica, coal dust or lead is released into the air at a work site, regardless of airborne concentration. The requirements are not limited to “restricted areas” as defined in section 1 of the OHS Code.

Asbestos, silica and lead are substances for which a code of practice must be prepared under section 26 of the OHS Code. The use of the code of practice at the work site will allow the employer to meet the requirements of this section.