Exposure Control Plans

Exposure control plans are required when a worker may be exposed to an air contaminant as prescribed under WorkSafeBC Regulations during the course of their work. Each plan is specific to an identified hazard. The plan must include: responsibilities, risk identification assessment and control, education and training and written procedures. At VIU Exposure control plans often have corresponding safe work procedures or are part of a larger institutional Health and Safety Program such as Hazardous Materials.


In its purest form, formaldehyde is a colorless, highly toxic and flammable gas with a strong pungent odor. Formaldehyde has a pungent odour, and odour thresholds significantly vary. Do not rely on odour alone to determine potential hazardous exposure. However, it is most commonly used as an aqueous solution called formalin, which typically also contains some methanol as a stabilizer. Many laboratories at VIU use formalin solutions as part of their teaching and research activities. It is commonly used in tissue fixing and preservation, and as an organic chemical reagent.


Hantavirus infection is caused by a virus that is found in some rodents, especially deer mice in Canada. People can contract the disease when they breathe in the virus, which is found in the urine, saliva or fecal droppings of infected rodents. Hantavirus infections usually occur in rural or semirural areas where people are more likely to come into contact with rodents. Report signs of of rodent activity or rodent sightings to your supervisor and Facilities Services.

Communicable Diseases

VIU is required by law to ensure that work is being conducted safely, and to protect workers from all work-related hazards, including exposure to infectious disease. These diseases are introduced to VIU through our students, staff, contractors, and visitors and range from the common cold to tuberculosis. 

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is a colorless liquid found in household and workplace products alike. Due to its high flammability and potential health hazards, it is important to handle isopropyl alcohol in a safe manner no matter what the setting. Flammable solvent vapors emitted by isopropyl alcohol can travel and produce fire and explosion upon contact with an ignition source or open flame.

Welding Gases and Fumes

The process of welding produces gases, vapours and dusts that can be hazardous if inhaled. The health risks are determined by length of exposure, the type of welding, the work environment and the PPE used. Exposure risks can be reduced using engineering controls such as mechanical or local exhaust ventilation.