Asbestos Management Program

The University is committed to maintaining a safe work and study environment for faculty, staff, students, visitors, and contractors. It is the policy of the University to maintain all asbestos containing materials (ACM) in a safe condition during normal building operations and have all maintenance, repair or renovation work undertaken using appropriate procedures. To support this, the University has established an Asbestos Management Program.  

Asbestos is a general term given to a group of naturally occurring mineral silicates that are characterized by long, thin fibres that can easily be separated. ACM were commonly used up until the mid-1980s in a wide range of products in construction and industry due to their unique properties which include heat resistance, chemical resistance, and heat and electrical insulation.  

Since then, the use of asbestos products has undergone a continuous decline because of concerns regarding the health effects associated with exposure and a new legislative landscape. However, many University buildings constructed or renovated during these times still contain some form of ACM. These materials can include but are not limited to, thermal insulation used as lagging for heaters, boilers, pipes, and hot water, acoustic or decorative finishes on ceilings and walls, vinyl floor tiles or vinyl sheet flooring, electric insulation etc. 

The mere presence of ACM in buildings does not constitute a hazard or unacceptable risk to health. However, these materials can present a significant degree of risk to workers and building occupants when maintenance, repair or renovation work has the potential to disturb ACM and proper asbestos-related precautions are not followed. Stringent procedures must be followed to reduce the risk to employees and to building occupants during asbestos work. 

An asbestos inventory (the Hazardous Materials Inventory System) has been prepared for each University building which contains asbestos materials. An overview of the asbestos inventory, Summary of Buildings with Asbestos Containing Materials, is available for the University of Guelph Community. The inventory identifies those materials that are confirmed or suspected to contain asbestos, the type of asbestos and the location. 

U of G building occupants are reminded; 

  • Do not damage, disturb or remove any materials that may be asbestos containing. 
  • Do not to make changes to their workspace on their own should there be asbestos-containing materials or other hazardous materials present.  
  • Proper procedures must be followed and done by qualified/trained employees or contractors when making changes that may disturb building materials, including drilling holes to hang pictures, boards, monitor arms or installing lab equipment etc. For the Guelph Campus, a request should be submitted to the Physical Resources Work Order Desk and for Ridgetown Campus, the work should be referred to the Manager, Physical Plant. 
  • Promptly report damaged asbestos containing materials for example, pipe insulations, ceiling, or floor tiles etc. to your Supervisor or other University person of authority. 

The Asbestos Management Program and associated documentation including the Summary of Buildings with Asbestos Containing Materials is accessible for users through their University of Guelph login

You may also contact the Asbestos Coordinator at for questions related to the Asbestos Management Program or the Hazardous Materials Inventory System (asbestos inventory).