In addition to the physical hazards that can be found in construction and general industry work environments, there are many health hazards that workers should be aware of for their own protection. Most workers have heard of asbestos but may not understand why it should be a concern.
OSHA Construction Standard 1926.1101 covers all construction work involving asbestos containing materials including demolition, removal, repairs, maintenance, or renovation, and installation of products containing asbestos.
OSHA General Industry Standard 1910.1001(a)(1) applies to all occupational exposures to asbestos in all industries… except construction work, ship repairing, shipbuilding and shipbreaking employments and related employments.
Why is asbestos so dangerous?
Workers may not know they are contaminated because symptoms of these health hazards and even cancer may take many years to develop following exposure to the asbestos-containing material.
Where can asbestos be found?
Asbestos can be found in many areas including pipe insulation, floor tiles, roofing tiles, boiler insulation and siding.
If you aren't sure if it contains asbestos, do not disturb it!
- Never enter into a restricted asbestos area. Read and follow warning signs or barricades.
OSHA Construction Standard 1926.1101(e)(2) states that regulated areas shall be demarcated [barricaded or marked].
OSHA General Industry Standard 1910.1001(3)(2) states that regulated areas shall be demarcated from the rest of the workplace... [barricaded or marked].
- When asbestos is disturbed it breaks down into tiny fibers that can easily be inhaled into the lungs.
- Only workers who are specially trained and equipped can install, remove, or disturb asbestos-containing materials.
- Proper protective equipment must be worn at all times, depending on the type of activity performed.