Essential Asbestos Management Solutions to Follow on Your Worksite
Asbestos poses a health risk for any workers who come into contact with it during their daily tasks. As a worksite manager or employer, it is essential to remain aware of the dangers attributed to asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), and the steps that you can take to protect your workers. Exposure to this hazardous material can lead to a host of respiratory conditions, including asbestosis. If you suspect or are confident that your site may contain ACMs, it is essential to take the following steps to manage the material and protect your workers.
Carry out an inspection
An asbestos inspection provides the surest way of ascertaining the presence of asbestos and ACMs on a work site. Because the material was used in various forms during construction, it can be difficult to visually identify it on building and roofing materials or even in the soil. In Australia, some laboratories are accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities, and these are the only ones that can identify and ascertain the presence of asbestos. Carrying out an inspection is essential in ensuring that proper and safe management solutions are implemented to prevent exposure of the material to the environment.
Assess the condition of the materials
Just because asbestos is present in a material doesn't mean that it should be disturbed. If the material is still in good condition and the asbestos fibres are intact, there is no urgency in removing it. On the other hand, measures should be taken to eliminate the material or protect workers if the ACMs have been tampered with. It is critical to assess the condition of the ACMs to determine whether it is necessary to remove the hazardous material. The accredited inspector can provide the best way forward regarding this issue.
Educate the workers
Employee training on asbestos and ACMs and their dangers is critical to maintaining safety in the workplace. Train employees on the proper safety procedures to adhere to and ensure their safety. Additionally, the right safety gear and equipment should be provided to workers who will be working around areas with asbestos. Ensure that employees are educated on how to correctly use equipment such as nose masks as well to avoid inhalation of these harmful fibers.
Carry out asbestos removal
It is the responsibility of the employer or manager to ensure that asbestos removal is done on the job site if it poses a health hazard to workers. The inspector will instruct on how to remove asbestos and when this should be done. If the ACMs are still intact and won't be disturbed, the removal can be carried out after the project. However, if the fibres are already exposed to the air, it is critical to remove the materials before workers can commence operations. Enlist a licensed asbestos removal company to ensure that the material is handled correctly without exposing it to the air or the soil.