Asbestos may be a naturally occurring material, but it is notoriously unfit for humans. Since asbestos fibers are so deadly and potentially insidious, OSHA and the EPA heavily regulate any activity relating to the material, including asbestos removal.
OSHA has released stringent guidelines surrounding work that involves asbestos removal or the demolition of buildings containing asbestos. Since any amount of exposure to asbestos, no matter how brief, is considered dangerous, protective equipment is required at all time. This includes respirators that will filter out fibers from the air supply (paper masks are not sufficient) and coveralls, boots and gloves that will prevent fibers from clinging to skin and clothing. Equipment and tools should be decontaminated after work as an extra safety measure. In addition, the area in question should be sealed off, and site managers should regulate the amount of exposure for workers at all times, requiring a medical-follow up afterwards.
New Regulation Updates
NEW STANDARDS: – In Effect as of June 1st, 2016
OSHA standard 1926.1101(k)(1) for Asbestos requires new DANGER signs and label text. OSHA also mandates proper labeling and warnings that enforce workers’ right to a safe workplace.
In Effect as of June 1st 2016:
OSHA standard 1926.62(m)(1)(i) for lead requires new DANGER signs and label text.
The employer shall post the following warning signs in each work area where an employee’s exposure to lead is above the PEL.
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