Designated Substance Survey

Designated Substance Survey

At The Healthy Abode Inc. we perform Designated Substance Reports for homeowners, general contractors, design / architect and engineering firms, and demolition contractors in compliance with Ontario Regulation 490/09 and Ontario Regulation 278/05.  We are fully insured and WSIB compliant.

Our Designated Substance Surveys are Ministry of Labour compliant.  We are able to get you your final designated substance report in as little as 1 business day. 

Call for an estimate, 416-901-7527.

Initial Meeting over Phone

When you contact The Healthy Abode Inc. regarding a designated substance survey, we will knowledgeably answer your questions and provide you with a detailed account of our services, if requested.

Visual Inspection

A Designated Substance Survey is required by the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) for residential and commercial construction. A visual inspection of the property is performed in order to establish what materials will need to be sampled.

Pre-Inspection Report

Before beginning the visual inspection we ask some important questions about your home. Questions would likely include the age of your home and any information regarding any previous renovations (this is considered the pre-inspection report.)

Professional Sampling

The Healthy Abode Inc. is qualified to perform any type of necessary sampling in your home. This includes the following sampling techniques air, surface/bulk and dust sampling. For these procedures, we only perform the necessary sampling and we only use professional equipment. For a designated substance survey we would be looking for and performing asbestos testing and lead testing; typically for these samples we use a bulk sampling method. All asbestos sampling is performed in accordance with Ontario Regulation 278/05.

Sampling sent to a Certified Third Party Laboratory

We submit our sample(s) to a third party laboratory. The turnaround time for the lab is 1-4 business days for samples. All of our samples for the designated substance survey are properly labeled and submitted with a Chain of Custody form, which allows us to trace possession of the sample from the point of collection to receipt by the laboratory. This maintains the integrity of your samples.

Written Report of the Results

The laboratory provides a detailed written report of the analysis of the samples taken. It will identify the exact quantity of lead (PPM) and asbestos (%, type) is in the sample (if any), which is required information for the designated substance survey.

In addition to the laboratory report, The Healthy Abode Inc. provides you with our designated substance survey report. This report is an inclusive 25+ page report written for the purpose of being submitted to your General Contractor, Trades, Ministry of Labour (MOL) Inspector and Electrical Safety Authority Inspector.

Verbal Explanation of the Reports

All reports will be emailed.

It is very important to us that you feel comfortable in your understanding of your designated substance survey report. As such, we will discuss with you the results and attempt to explain them in a manner that satisfies your understanding. At this point we will answer any questions you may have including providing recommendations.

Please note that all laboratory results are confidential, they belong to you and we do not discuss them with any other party, unless you've requested that we do so.

What is a Designated Substance?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA), ONTARIO REGULATION 490/09 DESIGNATED SUBSTANCES (O. Reg. 490/09), allows for certain toxic substances to be especially designated.  This means that specific regulations have been constructed for the control of these substances.  There are eleven (11) designated substances:

  1. Acrylonitrile O. Reg. 835
  2. Arsenic O. Reg. 836
  3. Asbestos O. Reg. 278
  4. Benzene O. Reg. 839
  5. Coke Oven Emissions O. Reg. 840
  6. Ethylene Oxide O. Reg. 841
  7. Isocyanates O. Reg. 842
  8. Lead O. Reg. 843
  9. Mercury O. Reg. 844
  10. Silica O. Reg. 845
  11. Vinyl Chloride O. Reg. 846

Accordingly, each Designated Substance Regulation outlines the amount of the substance that a worker can be exposed to, ways to control the substance, personal protective equipment required and other safety measures, and ways to measure the substance in a specific environment.

Do I have to worry about all 11 Designated Substances on a Construction Site?

Five (5) of the eleven (11) Designated Substances are likely to be found on a residential construction site, namely asbestos, lead, silica, benzene and mercury.

Whose responsibility is it to have a Designated Substance Survey performed?

Section 30 of the OHSA deals with the presence of designated substances on construction projects.  Since silica, asbestos, lead, benzene and mercury are designated substances (O. Reg. 490/09), compliance with OHSA and its Regulations requires the owner of a property to determine if silica, asbestos, mercury, benzene and/or lead is present on a project through a designated substance survey and, if it is, to so inform all potential contractors / trades as part of the bidding process.  In a similar way, contractors who receive this information are to pass it onto other contractors and subcontractors who are bidding for work on the project.  If the owner or any contractor fails to comply with this requirement, whey will be liable of any loss or damages that result from a contractor or trade subsequently discovering that a designated substance is present.

Additionally, the OHSA sets out, in very general terms, the duties of employers and others to protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job.  These duties include:

  • taking all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of workers [clause 25(2)(h)]
  • ensuring that equipment, materials and protective equipment are maintained in good condition [clause 25(1)(b)]
  • providing information, instruction and supervision to protect worker health and safety [clause 25(2)(a)]
  • acquainting a worker or a person in authority over a worker with any hazard in the work and in the handling, storage, use, disposal and transport of any article, device, equipment or a biological, chemical or physical agent [clause 25(2)(d)]
What is a Designated Substance Survey (DSS)?

A Designated Substance Survey includes a visual inspection (walk-through) of the site, to identify the readily-accessible areas for the presence of designated substances used in building and construction materials.  Accordingly, we assess the type, characteristics and condition of the building materials and when necessary, samples of certain materials will be collected for subsequent laboratory analysis.

The result is a Designated Substance Survey (Assessment Report) that outlines materials of concern on the job site, lab analysis and results of materials tested, overall discussion of the materials (types, locations) found in the job site and conclusions/recommendations made according to these observations and testing.

What are “other Hazardous Materials”?

Some Designated Substance Surveys will also include inspections for other Hazardous Materials.  Depending on the Scope of the Project, the site and the building itself, this may or may not be necessary.  Other Hazardous Materials include:

  1. Mold (Mould)
  2. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
  3. Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODSs)
  4. Radon
  5. Electromagnetic Radiation
  6. Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI)