North West Environmental Group’s services are include Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Health and Safety, Hazardous Materials, Contaminated Sites and Laboratory Services to mirror the specializations of its recognized experts.
Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Health and Safety Services
Industrial Hygiene (IH) and Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Services North West Environmental Group Provides:
- Industrial Hygiene Monitoring
- Indoor Air Quality
- Infection Control (CAN/CSA-Z317.13-12)
- Clandestine Laboratories
- Environmental Water Sampling
- Exposure Control Plans
- Hazardous Materials Surveys
- Assistance with WorkSafeBC Compliance
- Risk Assessment and Prioritization
- Exposure Control Monitoring
- Health and Safety Program Development
- Safe Work Procedure Development
- Health and Safety Compliance Audits
- Confined Space Hazard Assessment
- Hazardous Materials Management Program
- Remediation Support
- Respiratory Protection Fit Testing and Training
- Noise and Vibration Exposure Monitoring
- Emergency Preparedness
- WHMIS Training
- Work Place Accident Investigations, Litigation Support, and Expert Testimony
- Fall Protection
- Training Program Development, Delivery and Implementation Support
- Safety Engineering
Asbestos, once considered the miracle mineral, with its heat and corrosion resistance, high tensile strength and its general versatility made it a key ingredient for the industrial age. For this reason, asbestos is found, and is sometimes still added to, a tremendous variety of building materials.
Unfortunately, when it was proven that exposure to asbestos caused cancer, all of the benefits associated with this material were replaced with concerns over how to safely manage a carcinogen that is present in nearly every home and building constructed before the 1980’s.
The staff at has extensive experience managing all aspects of asbestos materials for the homeowner, schools, hospitals and the workplace.
North West can work with your architect or contractor to ensure that renovations to your home or workplace are carried out legally and safely. While North West, as a consulting firm, never performs asbestos removal because of the conflict of interest involved, we can pre-qualify local licensed abatement contractors for your project. Our rigorous vetting process is just one way North West goes beyond the normally limited role of a consultant to provide comprehensive environmental management services.
The dangers of lead-based paint to human health, and more accurately lead dust, have been well known for decades. Even minor exposure to a child can cause damage to the central nervous system and affect a child’s brain and development. Through identification, diligence and proper exposure monitoring, our goal at Northwest is to limit worker exposure to lead and by doing so limit the chance that a child is ever exposed to a dangerous environment containing lead-based paint.
If your home or building was constructed or significantly renovated prior to 1980, chances are high that some lead-based paint is present. Location of a home does not necessarily affect the likelihood of lead’s presence in paint. The 100-year-old colonial in an affluent suburb is just as likely to contain lead-based paint as is an inner-city apartment.
Homeowners involved in renovation projects need to be especially cautious, as even minor demolition or sanding can cause a home to become completely contaminated with lead dust.
Even if your home is brand new, have your child tested for lead levels in the blood regularly. As more of the products we buy originate overseas, the greater the chances are that some merchandise containing lead can be brought into your home.
The staff at has tested thousands of residences, commercial, industrial and marine buildings/vessels for the presence of lead-based paint and lead dust using the latest in field and laboratory technologies. Northwest will work with parents, contractors and building owners to both educate them as to the potential sources of lead and to assess potential hazards.
Moulds are natural organisms that are present virtually everywhere and live mostly undetected in nature. Mould-associated health problems arise when species begin to grow in a home or workplace. As they begin to flourish they may releases spores and organic chemicals into the air which can cause allergic or asthmatic reactions in some individuals. Immunocompromised individuals are particularly at risk for complications and infections as a result of exposure to mould in indoor environments.
Due to increased media coverage, public awareness of mould and its negative health risks has been raised. Public interest stems not only from the health concerns associated with mould, but also because of its potential impact on property value. In some cases, mould contamination has led to litigation with insurance companies, condo and co-op boards, building managers and employers.
Adverse health effects caused by mould have resulted in the creation of any entire industry dedicated to testing and eliminating mould from homes and buildings. Unfortunately, in the great rush to be part of the industry, many less-than-reputable individuals have entered into it. Some offer services to both identify mould contamination and to be the contractor to fix the problem. North West advises home and building owners to avoid companies that do not recognize this conflict of interest.
Also to be avoided are companies that specialize in the “deadly toxic black mould” variety. It is true that some mould is black (e.g. Stachybotrys chartarum), some mould is known to produce mycotoxins, and some believe that mould (Aspergillus fumigatus) can cause death in people with immuno-deficiencies. However, while the potential health effects of mould should not be ignored, any firm advising that mould in relatively minor quantities is toxic to the average person is simply exploiting the fears of the public.
North West Environmental Group provides mould investigation inspections which employ a variety of analytical and empirical tools including: Mould Spore Trap Air Sampling, Mould Bulk/Tape/Swab Sampling, Material Moisture Probe Testing, and Wall Inspection Cameras in conjunction with a wealth of investigative experience and knowledge to best outline whether or not a mould problem exists.
Industrial Hygiene Monitoring
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines industrial hygiene as “that science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of those environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace, which may cause sickness, impaired health and well-being, or significant discomfort among workers or among the citizens in the community.”
As an industrial hygiene consulting firm, North West Environmental Group works with employers in commercial, industrial, construction industries as well as federal, provincial and municipal governments to evaluate work environments pertaining to industrial hygiene through environmental and occupational monitoring, administrative training and controls, engineering controls and detailed work practice review in compliance with provincial and federal regulation.
North West Environmental has extensive experience in industrial work environments including (but not limited to):
and where work environments pose a risk of:
- Heat stress
- Exposure to a hazardous chemical or biological agent
Indoor Air Quality
The quality of indoor air is often a major component of the perceived comfort and satisfaction of residents and workers. Air quality in the workplace may affect productivity, sick time and even the lengths of time workers stay at the workplace. Air quality problems can be caused by a variety of sources such as:
- Human metabolic activity
- Structural components of the building and contents
- Biological contamination
- Mechanical equipment and/or processes
- Outside air pollutants that enter the building
North West Environmental Group experiences a large volume of inquiries pertaining to issues with indoor air quality. With a vast wealth of chemical, biological, and ventilation knowledge/experience on our team, North West Environmental Group is committed to providing clients with accurate, detailed, and problem-warranted consulting and testing for the large array of indoor air quality problems which may arise in a building, vessel or home including:
- Environmental air contaminants
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Hydrocarbons
- Respirable and inhalable nuisance dusts
- Comfort Parameters (Carbon Dioxide, Temperature and Relative Humidity)
Infection Control (CAN/CSA-Z317.13-12)
Health care facilities can have a high rate of disease transmission if not properly evaluated and monitored as they typically have a higher percentage of immunocompromised or immunosuppressed individuals in their care. Improper or inadequate attention to construction projects can lead to high rates of infection, disease-transmission and death and therefore all construction projects within health facilities are mandated to have stringent requirements as to how they are designed, implemented, monitored and inspected for the duration of the project.
North West Environmental Group has extensive experience in the design, environmental management, project oversight and regulatory compliance in all types of construction projects pertaining to health facilities including (but not limited to):
- Emergency spills
- Operating Rooms
- Patient Care Facilities
- Treatment Rooms
- Hospital Construction
- Hospital Deconstruction
When a clandestine laboratory has been identified and decommissioned the potential exists for hazards to remain present long after the site has been vacated which may include:
North West Environmental Group has conducted numerous assessments of former marijuana grow-operations, methamphetamine manufacturing laboratories and provided clientele with compliant recommendations to return the labs into liveable spaces.
Environmental Water Sampling
Exposure Control Plans
Hazardous Materials Surveys
WorkSafeBC Regulation 20.112 requires that all hazardous materials found to be in the way of planned work, including asbestos, be identified prior to the commencement of construction and/or renovation work. These hazardous materials must be either safely contained or removed by a qualified contractor employing WorkSafeBC approved procedures.
North West Environmental Group’s hazardous materials surveys comply with WorkSafeBC Regulation 20.112 and cover a broad range of materials deemed hazardous during the deconstruction process including:
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls
- Heavy Metals
- Biological Hazards
- Radioactive Materials
- Above Ground Storage Tanks
- Urea Foam Formaldehyde Insulation (UFFI)
- Ozone Depleting Substances (Chlorofluorocarbons)
North West Environmental Group has conducted over one thousand third-party surveys for residential, industrial, commercial, and medical buildings/clientele.
Asbestos and Microbial Laboratory Services
North West provides environmental laboratory services focused on asbestos and mould identification (bulk asbestos, asbestos air and fungal direct exam).
Identification of asbestos in a multitude of building products and materials.
Asbestos fibre counting
Monitoring of airborne asbestos concentrations during abatement projects and during routine building activities.
Mould Spore Identification
Accurate identification of mould in air samples, tape lift/swap samples, and bulk samples.