Recognizing Global Asbestos Awareness Week

Journal of Commerce | DCN-JOC News Services  | April 3, 2024

REGINA, SASK. – This week, until April 7, marks Global Asbestos Awareness Week, providing an opportunity to raise awareness about asbestos hazards in the workplace.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that was regularly used in buildings until the late 1990s. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, the tiny fibres are released into the air and when they are breathed in, they can become trapped in the lungs. Over time, these fibres can accumulate and lead to serious health problems.

According to a release, the Public Health Act, 1994 requires the provincial government, Crown corporations, health regions and all facilities used as public schools to provide and post information about the presence of asbestos in those buildings.

Currently, Saskatchewan is the only provincial jurisdiction to have an online asbestos registry available to the public and to date, over 5,200 facilities have been registered.

In the 2024-25 provincial budget, $230,000 in new funding is provided to replace the current asbestos registry which will ensure that the registry continues to protect workers when doing repairs or renovations to public buildings identified as containing asbestos. 

“Saskatchewan has taken many steps to ensure that workers are protected from the dangers of asbestos,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don McMorris said, in a statement. “The online Asbestos Registry of Public Buildings was created to ensure that information about the presence of asbestos is easily accessible. This is just one of many educational tools available to protect workers from asbestos-related harm.”