Human Resources Policies
Designated Substances

Category: Health and Safety
Sub-Category: General

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Policy Statement

This policy is intended to protect workers, visitors, contractors and the public from exposure to a designated substance, and to maintain compliance with legislative requirements by (i) identifying and assessing the exposure or likelihood of exposure of a worker to a designated substance present in the workplace, and (ii) implementing a control program as required.

Application

It applies to all City of Toronto employees and any contractors and their sub-contractors working for the City, where the substance(s) maybe present, used, handled, stored, processed or produced and at which a worker is likely to be exposed to the substance (s). It also applies at all City-owned or leased facilities at which a designated substance(s) may be present.

For management and control of asbestos present in buildings, and during construction, renovation, repair, alteration, maintenance or demolition work, refer to the City's Asbestos Management Policy.


Definitions

Assessment: An evaluation of the exposure or likelihood of exposure of a worker to a designated substance present in the workplace to determine if a worker’s health may be affected because of an exposure or likelihood of exposure. The assessment takes into account:

  • Methods and procedures used in the processing, use, handling, or storage of a designated substance
  • Extent or potential extent of exposure of a worker to a designated substance
  • Measures and procedures necessary to control the exposure

Control Program: A set of written operating conditions, measures, work practices and procedures to control the exposure of a worker to a designated substance and includes provisions for:

  • Engineering controls, work practices, hygiene practices and facilities to control the exposure
  • Methods and procedures to monitor airborne concentrations of the substance in the workplace and worker exposure
  • Medical examinations and clinical tests of a worker
  • Record of exposure, medical examinations, clinical tests
  • Training programs for supervisors and workers on the health effects of the designated substance and the measures and procedures required under the control program

Designated substances: For the purpose of this policy, designated substances are substances so named in the Designated Substances Regulation 490/09 made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, namely:

  • Acrylonitrile
  • Arsenic
  • Asbestos
  • Benzene
  • Coke Oven Emissions
  • Ethylene Oxide
  • Isocyanates
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Silica
  • Vinyl Chloride

Responsibilities

Senior management will, upon learning or reasonably to have been aware of the presence of a designated substance, based on available information (i.e. historical records, past assessment, safety data sheets etc):

  • ensure that responsibility for the designated substance control program is assigned to a competent person,
  • ensure that where a designated substance is present or acquired that an assessment is carried out
  • where an assessment indicates worker exposure to the substance is likely, a control program is established by a competent person
  • establish a mechanism to ensure designated substances to which contractors' employees may be exposed are identified in tendering documents
  • establish a reporting mechanism to ensure they are kept advised of the presence of designated substances and the ongoing status of control programs and any potential or actual concerns within their area of responsibility
  • provide the support and resources necessary to implement and maintain the designated substance control program

Supervisory/management staff will:

  • determine which designated substances are in the workplace, find substitutions where feasible, and provide an assessment for those which cannot be eliminated
  • inform the JHSC of designated substances identified in the workplace
  • determine if a designated substance that exists in the workplace can be eliminated or substituted, and if not, ensure that an assessment is carried out to evaluate the likelihood of exposure
  • in evaluating the need for using a designated substance and prior to introduction of the substance in the workplace, consult with the Health & Safety Consultant and Joint Health & Safety Committee, obtain approval from Senior Management for the introduction of the product containing the designated substance and if approved and authorized, ensure that an assessment is conducted. initiate and participate in designated substance assessments
  • ensure that any control program required for a designated substance is documented and reviewed with the JHSC
  • communicate the control program to all potentially impacted City Staff
  • advise workers of the presence of designated substances
  • ensure that workers who use, handle or store a designated substance are trained on health effects of the designated substance and all aspects of the control program, including use of required protective measures
  • arrange for and attend worker training
  • ensure that engineered systems to control exposure (e.g. local and general ventilation systems) are maintained on a regular basis
  • review and update the control program as necessary (i.e. change in existing or introduction of new process/operations in which the substance is used) and at a minimum on an annual basis
  • maintain records (e.g. exposure)

Workers will:

  • participate in training on the requirements of a control program for a designated substance used, stored, handled by the worker
  • follow safe work procedures established under the designated control program
  • participate in any medical monitoring program specified for the specific designated substance.

Occupational hygiene staff will:

  • assess exposure
  • recommend controls
  • provide training
  • assist with the overall assessment of designated substances
  • participate in the communication of control programs

Joint health and safety committees will:

  • assist with the overall assessment of designated substances
  • request, review and make comment on the Designated Substances Control Programs

Purchasing

  • specify that products, furnishings, coatings, materials used by contractors do not contain a designated substance, and incorporate specification into the purchasing and contractor selection process
  • assist client in sourcing substitute for existing products, materials containing a designated substance
  • discourage procurement of a designated substance identified as a new use or use in a new location, unless senior management provides documentation indicating the absence in the commercial marketplace of an adequate substitute

Occupational, Health and Safety Coordinating Committee

  • monitor the implementation and effectiveness of this policy at regular intervals

Standard Procedures

Supervisor/management staff upon becoming aware that a designated substance is present, processed, produced, used, handled or stored in the workplace will ensure that an assessment is conducted. This assessment will be completed in consultation with the joint health and safety committee and occupational hygiene staff, to ensure that the time weighted average exposure of persons working in the area where a designated substance is used, handled, stored or present does not exceed the occupational exposure limit specified in the regulation.

The assessment determines if workers are likely to be exposed to a designated substance by inhalation, ingestion or absorption and takes into account such matters as:

  • the methods and procedures used in the processing, use, handling or storage of a designated substance
  • the extent and potential extent of the exposure of a worker through inhalation, ingestion or absorption of a designated substance
  • the procedures necessary to control such exposure by means of engineering controls, work practices and personal hygiene facilities and practices

All possible means of substituting the designated substance with a less hazardous product shall be considered in the assessment.

The competent person assigned with responsibility for designated substances will provide a copy of the assessment to the joint health and safety committee and occupational hygiene staff. A template to document the assessment is included in Appendix I.

If the assessment determines a potential exposure is likely and that the health of the worker may be affected by the exposure, a competent person to develop and monitor a control plan is required. The control plan shall be developed in consultation with occupational hygiene staff and the joint health and safety committee and include provisions for:

  • engineering controls, work practices, hygiene practices and facilities
  • monitoring airborne concentrations of the designated substance and worker exposure to airborne concentrations of a designated substance
  • medical examinations and clinical testing for workers
  • records of exposure, clinical tests
  • training programs for supervisors and employees in the affected areas on the health effects of the designated substance and the measures and procedures required under the control program

The competent person provides copies of the control program to the local joint health and safety committee and occupational hygiene staff.


Authority





Approved by

Human Resources Directors

Date Approved

November 1, 1998

Reviewed by OHSCC

April 26, 2016

Review and Revision

Occupational Health and Safety Coordinating Committee (OHSCC), November 25, 2014, September 29, 2015 & April 26, 2016


Related links - external


Attachments

Appendix 1.doc (78 Kbytes)

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