What is Abatement in Construction?

January 31, 2024

Abatement in construction is the process of removing or minimizing dangerous elements like asbestos, lead paint, and mold from a building or construction site. It is an essential part of any construction project because it protects workers, occupants, and the environment from hazardous substances that pose a threat to human health and well-being. Abatement also helps to ensure that a construction site or building meets environmental regulations and standards.

Asbestos, lead, and mold can all cause serious health problems like breathing difficulties, cancer, cognitive impairment, and more. By removing or minimizing these substances, abatement prevents health hazards and increases the value of a building. Additionally, encapsulation is another form of abatement that involves sealing off the toxic materials so they are no longer a danger to others.

The rule of abatement is a common law right that allows a defendant to defend a claim for payment by arguing that the work has diminished in value as a result of defects. This defence is often used as a counterclaim under a contract, however, it can also be argued as a set-off or deferment if the contractor gives the required notice.

To perform abatement safely, contractors need to follow strict protocols and use specialized equipment like chemical absorbents and respirators. They must also wear protective gloves and use HEPA vacuums to minimize the spread of harmful dust particles. Additionally, they must have a safe way to dispose of the hazardous materials once they have been removed from a building or site.


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