OSHA Asbestos Requirements
OSHA asbestos requirements are important for many different reasons. Exposure to asbestos can be very dangerous, resulting in serve injury or even death. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that in the past has been widely used throughout the world. Asbestos is used in many different items because of its fire resistant quality. Asbestos releases small fibers that become almost invisible. Once the fibers are inhaled, they can cause a lot of damage to the lungs. One of the main lung problems asbestos causes is asbestosis. The asbestos fibers that are inhaled, cause injury and scarring to the lungs. This will cause the lungs to malfunction often times resulting in death. Many different types of cancer are also caused from asbestos exposure. The two main cancers cause by asbestos are mesothelioma and lung cancer. Asbestos exposure has also been known to cause colon cancer, esophagus cancer, rectum cancer, and stomach cancer.
There are many different people who come in contact with asbestos on regular bases. The people who are most likely to come in contact with asbestos are people who work in the fields of general industry and construction. Each year 1.3 million people are likely to be exposed to asbestos. When buildings are being remodeled often times asbestos must be removed. This causes the asbestos fibers to become air born affecting many people. Demolition is also another area in construction were exposure to asbestos is very common. People who deal with the manufacturing of asbestos products are also at risk. There are many different areas of industry were people face exposure to asbestos constantly and that is why OSHA asbestos requirements are so important.
What Are OSHA Asbestos Requirements
OSHA has put into place many mandatory requirements when it comes to the dealing and handling of asbestos, mainly covering the areas of construction and general industry. Some of the things that fall under OSHA asbestos requirements are exposure limits, tracking of exposure, protective clothing, respirators, warning signs, book keeping, labeling, and doctors exams. This OSHA asbestos requirements can save lives.
Why Does OSHA Have Asbestos Requirements
OSHA has Asbestos exposure limit requirements for both construction and general industry. In both construction and industry exposure to asbestos is not to exceed 0.2 fibers per cubic cm of air. This exposure limit deals with an eight hour period. Any employee working with asbestos must go through a test period were they are exposed to 0.1 fibers per cubic cm. This is called the action level. This type of testing must happen periodically. With construction if levels drop below the action level testing is not necessary. If respirators are being used the test is also not needed.
Under OSHA asbestos requirements employers must supply respirators. The type of respirators that must be used depends on the exposure levels. Regulated areas must also be established. In regulated areas actions that can be done are very limited. There is to be no eating, drinking smoking, applying of make-up or chewing gum. Only people wearing the proper respirators may enter the regulated areas. Regulated areas must be well defined with signs and posters. Another important OSHA asbestos requirements deals with labeling of raw materials with Asbestos in them. They must be clearly labeled with caution signs.
Testing an exposure to asbestos must always be recorded by an employer. These records must be kept for a total of thirty years. The records must show all steps taken to keep employee safe. There are many things that are required to be kept in the record books. Some of the OSHA asbestos requirements for record keeping are:
- Methods used
- What Caused exposure
- How long exposed to asbestos
- Results of sample
- Respiratory system used
- Social security number
- Name of employee
- Any effects due to exposure to asbestos
OSHA Asbestos Requirements state that there are many different types of protective clothing that should be worn when dealing with asbestos. Some of the protective clothes that OSHA requires is as followed.
- Coveralls or clothing that covers the entire body
- Closed foot wear
- Vented goggles
- Face shield
OSHA requires that rooms be provided especially for the use of changing out of protective clothing, that has been exposed past the exposure limit. Employees must have two separate lockers. One locker is to be used for their protective clothing and the other for their street clothing. This prevents their street clothing from becoming exposed to asbestos. Employers must also supply showers to their employees. There must also be disposal bags for protective gear that has been contaminated by asbestos.
When it comes to general industry employees must see a doctor for a general exam before they start work in an environment that has exposure to asbestos. Every year the employee must have a doctor's examination. Once the employee no longer works for the company they must also have a doctor's exam. OSHA asbestos requirements state that construction workers must have a yearly exam when they are exposed to levels above the action level.
OSHA asbestos requirements were put into place to help save lives. If you need more information on OSHA asbestos requirements go to their website. There you will find all the information you need on OSHA Asbestos Requirements.