Even though most uses of asbestos have been banned, it can still be found in a variety of products, such as building materials and vehicle brakes. Employees can be exposed to this hazardous material during the manufacturing process, brake and clutch repairs, and renovations and demolitions. The inhalation of these fibers can cause serious health risks and damage to the lungs and other organs that may not appear until years after exposure. Make sure you are taking proper precautions in situations where you may risk exposure.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards to protect employees from exposure to asbestos in the workplace, as well as permissible exposure limits and exposure monitoring. OSHA regulations also exist for controlled zones and regulated areas where certain work with asbestos is performed.
Avoid Asbestos Inhalation
The following tips are safety reminders for those who work near or with asbestos:
- Never enter a controlled zone that the company has designated as a regulated area where asbestos work is being performed.
- If you are not wearing appropriate respiratory protection, do not enter an asbestos regulated area. Inhaling this could cause health risks in the future.
- Do not eat, smoke, drink, chew gum or apply cosmetics in an asbestos regulated area.
- Always wear protective clothing such as coveralls or similar full-body clothing, head coverings, gloves, and foot coverings. Face shields, goggles, and other protective equipment are also necessary.
- Make sure you receive proper training and medical clearance if your work requires use of a respirator for asbestos protection. Use the correct type of respirator for the level of exposure. If you disturb or remove asbestos, you must wear at least a half-face respirator with N-, R-, or P-100 (HEPA) cartridges.
- OSHA also requires the use of a respirator in some cases when performing roofing or flooring work.
Follow the Rules
- Follow all required hygiene and decontamination practices after working with asbestos.
- Ask your supervisor if you are unsure if your protection is sufficient enough.
- Read and obey all warning signs displayed in asbestos regulated areas.
- Wear all required protective gear.
Contact Carriage Trade if you are concerned with your health, home, or business.