Restoration Environmental Interviewed by Daily
OCTOBER 26, 2001 - published with
permission from the Daily Commercial News
By Korky Koroluk
Doing a bad job of abatement
of hazardous materials is worse than leaving the susbstance alone, says Don Bremner, whose firm
specializes in just such work.
"A contractor's lack of training and
lack of proper equipment can make things worse for building occupants." he said.
handling of asbestos, for example, can stir things up, resulting in a lot of tiny fibres
floating in the air.
The same with
molds, which improperly handled can result in a lot of floating spores.
vice-president of Restoration Environmental Contractors and also of the Environmental
Abatement Council of Ontario (EACO), was making a point about the importance of choosing a
well-trained, well-qualified contractor to do abatement work on hazardous materials.
building owner, or general contractor, or architect or consulting engineer should do is
make sure they prequalify their abatement contractor," he said.
"Low bid is
always a factor but it must be a low bid by a qualified contractor. You can always use a
licensed electrician or mechanical contractor. But in our industry, there is no licensing,
so prequalification is important."
Bremner has put
together a checklist of criteria for hiring a contractor in the abatement field. In it, he
suggests checking the firm's standing with the Workers' Compensation Board, since proof of
payments is verification of the contractor's volume and payment history.
He also says that
"good" companies will provide banking and bonding letters, including such
details as the length of time the contractor has been dealing with each institution.
Performance bonding and banking references must be checked. The firm should also be
checked with a credit agency such as Dun and Bradstreet.
He suggests that
the contractor be asked to produce a copy of the company's incorporation document to
verify that it is, in fact, incorporated, how long has it been incorporated and under what
name. The company should have a minimum of five year's experience, Bremner says, operating
under the same name.
Levels of bonding
and insurance must be checked.
include specific environmental and pollution coverage.
If a contractor
has only general coverage, that means there is no pollution coverage, Bremner says. If
there have been any insurance claims, the company must have a good explanation for them.
Does the firm
have an office or does it operate out the back of a van?
Visit the office
and inspect the company's facilities.
Verify with the
Ministry of Labour that the firm is in good standing with no violations or stop-work
orders against it.
If there have
been violations or stop-work orders, demand a good explanation.
Ask for a client
list and talk to several of those clients about the company's performance.
All these things
are important, he says, because "when properly performed, mold and asbestos removal
is a permanent solution.
performed, airborne asbestos and molds can create major contamination problems."
Contact Mr. Don Bremner
Tel 1-800-894-4924 or (905) 888-0066 Fax 905-888-0071
P.O. Box 746
10 Stalwart Industrial Drive Unit 5,
Gormley (Markham), Ontario
Canada L0H 1G0