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Biohazard-Specific Requirements

Biologicals are varied and complex hazards that must be managed on a case-by-case basis. The Airport Authority is committed to complying with the ALARA principle and keeping exposures to all hazardous materials as low as is reasonably achievable. Contractors are required to conduct a risk assessment to determine the need for engaging an environmental consultant, or may be required to engage an environmental consultant at the request of the Airport Authority.

Elements of removal include:

  • Follow CSMP requirements.
  • Conduct a risk assessment.
  • Develop an Exposure Control Plan.
  • Develop and follow Safe Work Procedures.
  • Conduct occupational sampling as necessary.

Examples of biological hazards found on Airport Authority property include:

  • Animal droppings/carcasses
  • Mould (if significant mould contamination is found, abatement may be required)

Animal Droppings/Carcasses

Though rare, many diseases can be caused by exposure to animal excrement and carcasses through inhalation or ingestion of contaminated material. At the airport, the animal excrement that is primarily encountered is from rodents and birds, and can cause diseases such as hantavirus, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, and histoplasmosis.

Airport Authority Minimum Control Expectations

The Airport Authority has the following minimum control expectations as outlined in A Hantavirus Exposure Control Program for Employers and Workers, issued by WorkSafeBC:

  • Develop and implement an Exposure Control Plan.
  • Conduct ongoing inspections for rodents around the worksite.
  • Reduce the number of locations inside the worksite and in the near vicinity where rodents may feed or find shelter. For example:
    • Food storage containers
    • Garbage storage areas
    • Nooks and crannies
    • Infrequently used equipment

When cleaning up small quantities of rodent droppings:

  • Clear all unnecessary workers from the area.
  • Ventilate the area by opening windows and doors if possible.
  • Wear a disposable N95 respirator.
  • Wear disposable gloves (for example, latex-free, neoprene, nitrile).
  • Spray the debris with disinfectant (for example, 10% chlorine bleach) solution to soak the material. Avoid using a stream of liquid as this may create aerosols.
  • Scoop up the material. Dispose of all contaminated material in double plastic bags. Seal and label the bags.
  • Contaminated material may be disposed of with regular construction waste or garbage, as long as:
    • The material can be safely treated by soaking it in disinfectant solution
    • The material is in double plastic bags
  • Wipe or mop surfaces with a solution of disinfectant and detergent.
  • Decontaminate and remove PPE and clothing as set out in an appropriate decontamination procedure.

When there is evidence of significant rodent activity:

  • Clear all unnecessary workers from the area.
  • Ventilate the area by opening windows and doors if possible.
  • Wear a half-mask air-purifying respirator equipped with P100 filters or a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with P100 filters. The respirator must be used and maintained in compliance with a respirator program.
  • Wear disposable gloves (for example, latex-free, neoprene, nitrile).
  • Wear disposable coveralls made of a material that will resist the penetration of dust particles and that ensures a snug fit at the wrists and ankles.
  • Wear rubber boots or disposable shoe coverings when footwear contamination is likely.
  • Wear eye or face protection (for example, goggles without vent holes) to prevent aerosols from coming into contact with the mucous membranes of the eyes.
  • Clean up rodent droppings and other directly contaminated waste by first spraying the debris (gently) with disinfectant (for example, 10% chlorine bleach) solution to soak the material. Avoid using a stream of liquid as this will create aerosols. Then collect material in one of the following ways:
    • Vacuum with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter.
    • Do not use other vacuums (including wet/dry types) as they may disperse the virus throughout the work area.
    • If material is soaked through to the point of run-off, use a scoop or shovel to carefully move the material into a plastic disposal bag.
  • Wipe or mop surfaces with a solution of disinfectant and detergent.
  • Dispose of all contaminated material in double plastic bags. Seal and label bags.
  • Contaminated material may be disposed of with regular construction waste or garbage, as long as:
    • The material can be safely treated by soaking it in disinfectant solution
    • The material is in double plastic bags
  • Decontaminate and remove PPE and clothing as set out in an appropriate decontamination procedure.

To reduce the risk of exposure, select the appropriate respirator according to the table below.

Respirator Type Use
Disposable N95 respirator General cleanup, handling, and maintenance activities for which there is known or probable rodent contamination, but no heavy accumulation of droppings.
Half-face air-purifying respirators (APR), rubber or silicone, reusable, equipped with P100 filters Cleaning up rodent-contaminated areas where there is an accumulation of droppings and excess dust is not being generated, or where the handling of rodents, alive or dead, is uncommon.
Powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR) equipped with P100 filters or air-supplied respirators Cleaning up of heavy accumulations of rodent droppings where excess dust may be generated.

Mould

If mould is discovered during a project, an assigned Airport Authority–approved environmental consultant will conduct a visual assessment, determine the next steps, and decide whether an abatement contractor is required for removal.

Airport Authority minimum control expectations

The table below provides guidance on control measures for removing visible mould growth in an indoor environment as outlined in the OHS Guidelines Part 4.79, Indoor air quality.

Extent of Visible and Hidden Mould Growth (surface area) Minimum Recommended PPE1 Control Measures to Prevent Dust or Spore Dispersion
Small
Total surface area affected is less than 1 m2 (10 ft2)
  • N95 respirator or half-facepiece respirator with HEPA filters
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Isolate the work area.
  • Wet-wipe or mist surfaces with water containing a surfactant (wetting agent).
  • Use drop sheets to prevent dispersion of dust and spores.
  • Remove material with a minimum of dust and spore dispersal, place it in a plastic bag, and seal it.
Medium
Total surface area affected is between 1 m2 and 10 m2 (10 ft2 to 100 ft2)
  • N95 respirator or half-facepiece respirator with HEPA filters
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
Limited containment:
  • Use polyethylene sheeting ceiling to floor around the affected area with a slit entry and covering flap.
  • Maintain the area under negative pressure with a HEPA-filtered negative air unit.
  • Block supply and return air vents within the containment area.
Large
Total surface greater than 10 m2 (100 ft2), or the potential for increased occupant or remediator exposure during remediation is estimated to be significant
  • Full-facepiece or powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with HEPA filters
  • Gloves
  • Disposable coveralls (covering head and boots)
  • Goggles
Full containment:
  • Use critical barriers.
  • Maintain the area under negative pressure with a HEPA-filtered fan unit exhausted outside the building.
  • Block supply and return air vents within the containment area.
  • Provide facilities and procedures for decontamination and personal hygiene.
1. Higher levels of respiratory protection should be considered for situations where the "Extent of Visible and Hidden Mould Growth" is categorized as "Small" or "Medium." For example, full-facepiece powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) with high-efficiency particulate arrestor (HEPA) filter cartridges will afford protection to the eyes not available with half-facepiece respirators. As well, in situations where large numbers of spores are released and the area is not well ventilated, a higher level of respiratory protection should be selected and used.

According to WorkSafeBC requirements, a Notice of Project must be submitted for work involving the remediation, cleanup, or demolition of mould-contaminated areas where the total surface area affected is greater than 100 contiguous square feet.

Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

The table below summarizes Airport Authority expectations for managing biological hazards, and the responsibilities of the required parties.

Small

Required Parties Key Responsibilities Sampling Requirements Required Documentation
Airport Authority representative environmental consultant
  • Conduct visual assessment and determine next steps.
  • Not applicable
  • Not applicable
Prime Contractor
  • Not applicable
  • Not applicable
  • Not applicable
Airport Authority pre-qualified abatement contractor
  • Not applicable
  • Not applicable
  • Not applicable
Third-party environmental consultant
  • Not applicable
  • Not applicable
  • Not applicable

Medium

Required Parties Key Responsibilities Sampling Requirements Required Documentation
Airport Authority representative environmental consultant
  • Conduct visual assessment and determine next steps.
  • Review Exposure Control Plans and Safe Work Procedures as necessary.
  • Confirm approval of containment set-up.
  • Perform QAQC on the abatement work as required.
  • Review air clearance and give final written approval before containment teardown
  • QAQC sampling as required
  • Create Final Closure Document as required.
Prime Contractor
  • Retain third-party environmental consultant
  • Not applicable
  • Not applicable
Airport Authority pre-qualified abatement contractor
  • Provide Exposure Control Plans and Safe Work Procedures to the Airport Authority representative environmental consultant.
  • Ensure that appropriate controls are in place.
  • Follow any requirements of the Airport Authority representative environmental consultant.
  • Not applicable
Third-party environmental consultant
  • Inspect and approve the containment before starting work.
  • Inspect and provide written confirmation that all impacted materials have been removed.
  • Perform air clearance with comparison to outdoor samples (2), as required.
  • Monitoring reports
  • Daily inspection reports
  • Final inspection & clearance report

Large

Required Parties Key Responsibilities Sampling Requirements Required Documentation
Airport Authority representative environmental consultant
  • Conduct visual assessment and determine next steps.
  • Review Exposure Control Plans and Safe Work Procedures as necessary.
  • Provide approval of containment setup.
  • Perform QAQC on the abatement work.
  • Review air clearance and give final written approval before containment teardown
  • QAQC sampling as required
  • Create Final Closure Document as required.
Prime Contractor
  • Retain third-party environmental consultant
  • Not applicable
  • Not applicable
Airport Authority pre-qualified abatement contractor
  • Provide Exposure Control Plans and Safe Work Procedures to the Airport Authority representative environmental consultant.
  • Ensure that appropriate controls are in place.
  • Create Final Closure Document indicating materials have been removed. Upon completion of abatement, sign the document, provide prime contractor with document to sign, and provide Airport Authority representative environmental consultant with document.
  • Follow any requirements of the Airport Authority representative environmental consultant.
  • Not applicable
Third-party environmental consultant
  • Inspect and approve the containment before starting work.
  • Inspect and provide written confirmation that all impacted materials have been removed.
  • Perform air clearance with comparison to outdoor samples (2).
  • Monitoring reports
  • Daily inspection reports
  • Final inspection report

For questions related to this content, please contact YVR Contractor Safety by email at contractor_safety@YVR.ca or by phone at 604-276-7797.

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