Designated Substance Surveys

Cambium Aboriginal offers solutions to meet many requirements of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act prepared by the Ministry of Labour. In particular, the requirement that all designated substances at a project site must be reported to all construction contractors working within the facility is regulated by Ontario Regulation 490 and Ontario Regulation 213. The purpose of a designated substance survey is to inventory the location of all designated substances within the facility.

A designated substance is defined as a biological, chemical or physical agent, or combination thereof, to which the exposure of a worker is prohibited, regulated, restricted, limited or controlled. Eleven (11) substances have been designated in Ontario: acrylonitrile, arsenic, asbestos, benzene, coke oven emissions, ethylene oxide, isocyanates, lead, mercury, silica and vinyl chloride; however, typically four (4) of the substances are commonly encountered in buildings such as the one on-site and include:

  • Asbestos (building materials).
  • Silica (concrete, masonry, stone and boiler refractory).
  • Mercury (thermometers, pressure gauges, and paints).
  • Lead (paint applications and pipe solder).

The objective of a designated substance survey is to identify and quantify the extent of designated substances located at the site through sampling and analysis. A typical designated substance survey includes the following:

  • Collection of building material samples that may potentially contain a designated substance (typically related to asbestos, lead and mercury).
  • Review and inventory of materials used at the facility for process and nonā€process related chemicals.
  • Mapping, photographing records and documentation of all sample locations.
  • Report generation detailing the presence or absence of designated substances throughout the site.

The final report is typically provided in binder format to allow for ease of reference for any contractors that may be working on-site. The document will illustrate clearly the type and exact location of the materials containing a designated substance, if any.

The designated substance survey can also be incorporated into a Designated Substance and Hazardous Materials (DSHM) Survey which identifies any hazardous materials throughout the building such as PCB light ballasts and PCB containing window caulking. A DSHM is particularly important for demolish projects where all materials must be disposed of under Ontario Regulation 347.

Cambium Aboriginal has dedicated, professional and experienced staff trained to conduct defined and clear designated substance surveys used to provide required information to contractors involved in on-site works. The prepared deliverables will ensure contractors take appropriate steps to control exposure of workers to all designated substances existing within the facility.

Asbestos containing material survey

Asbestos-containing materials still exist in many buildings throughout Ontario. Asbestos-containing materials can present a significant degree of risk to workers and building occupants if disrupted through maintenance or renovation programs. Ontario Regulation 278/05 Designated Substance – Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations, requires the building owner to establish whether any handled building material contains asbestos and whether the asbestos is friable or non-friable.

An asbestos-containing material is defined as material that contains 0.5 percent or more of asbestos by dry weight. Friable asbestos is material that can be crumbled by hand pressure when dry. Prior to demolition or renovation, an asbestos survey must be completed by a competent worker to establish the amount and type of asbestos-containing material(s) in a building.

Cambium Aboriginal can assist clients in conforming to Ontario Regulation 278/05 by conducting an asbestos survey which includes the following:

  • Assessment of the facility, including visual verification of building systems, equipment and site components; interviews with building operations staff and review of any available drawings, reports and photos.
  • Collection of potential asbestos containing material samples in general accordance with Ontario Regulation 278/05 to be verified through laboratory analysis.
  • Documentation of the condition of all potentially asbestos-containing material substances.
  • Mapping, documentation and photographs, of all sample locations.
  • A report of all asbestos containing materials within the facility.
  • Annual updates to the report, as required by Ontario Regulation 278/05 as part of the on-going asbestos management of the building.

Contact us today for a FREE consultation at:

705.657.1126 (Telephone)

Note**Cambium Aboriginal is now Cambium Indigenous Professional Services! We offer all of the same services plus other new and exciting service categories. You can visit our new website at:

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Thank you

Cambium Indigenous Professional Services
1109 Mississauga Street, Curve Lake First Nation, Ontario K0L 1R0