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protect your workers from the hazards of asbestos

By Barrow Group Staff / July 29, 2020

asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber. It was used in numerous building materials and vehicle products for its strength and ability to resist heat and corrosion before its dangerous health effects were discovered. Individual asbestos fibers cannot be seen by the naked eye, which puts workers at an increased risk. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations to protect workers from the hazards of asbestos.  This checklist will help you stay in compliance with OSHA standards on asbestos exposure.

GENERAL

YES

NO

N/A

1. Have you identified the presence, location and quantity of all asbestos-containing materials in the workplace? [29 CFR 1910.1001(j)]

2. Have employees been informed of all asbestos-containing materials in their respective work areas? [29 CFR 1910.1001(j)]

3. Have identifying signs and labels been attached or posted so all employees know to avoid these materials? [29 CFR 1910.1001(j)(3)]

4. Are all materials suspected of containing asbestos in facilities constructed before 1981 handled as if they do contain asbestos until proven otherwise? [29 CFR 1910.1001(j)(1)]

5. Have employees and contract employers and their employees (including housekeeping personnel) received initial awareness or worker training as well as annual refresher training appropriate to their work assignments and is the training material available for employees and regulators to inspect? [29 CFR 1910.1001(j)]

6. Are regulated areas established and demarcated, and is access restricted appropriately? [29 CFR 1910.1001(e)(1), (e)(2), and (e)(3)]

7. Is drinking, smoking, chewing gum or tobacco, and application of cosmetics prohibited in the regulated area? [29 CFR 1910.1001(e)(5)]

8. Is smoking prohibited in all work areas? [29 CFR 1910.1001(e)(5), (i)(4)]

9. Is a written respiratory protection program and a medical surveillance program in effect? [29 CFR 1910.1001(f)(2)(i), (l)(1)(i)]

10. Are workers provided with protective work clothing and equipment appropriate to the work assignment, and are workers provided with clean clothing and equipment at least weekly? [29 CFR 1910.1001(h)(3)(i)]

11. Are workers provided with a clean room and shower facilities appropriate to the work being performed, and is the change room separated from the storage area where potentially contaminated clothing and equipment are kept? [29 CFR 1910.1001(i)]

12. Is all potentially asbestos-contaminated clothing that needs to be laundered containerized, labeled, handled and transported appropriately and is anyone handling or laundering it fully informed of the potential hazards? [29 CFR 1910.1001(h)(2)(iv), (h)(3)(v)]

13. Is a positive-pressure, air-filtered lunchroom provided, and are employees required to wash their hands and face before eating and smoking? [29 CFR 1910.1001(i)(3)(ii)]

 

ASBESTOS TIME-WEIGHTED AVERAGES (TWA)

YES

NO

N/A

14. Is employee exposure to asbestos over 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter (f/cc) of air on an eight-hour, time-weighted average (TWA) prevented? [29 CFR 1910.1001(c)(1)]

15. Is employee exposure to asbestos over 1.0 f/cc for a 30-minute excursion limit (EL) prevented? [29 CFR 1910.1001(c)(2)]

16. Is employee exposure over 0.5 f/cc TWA and 2.5 f/cc EL prevented in the following job descriptions? [29 CFR 1910.1001(f)(1)(iii)]

  • Coupling cutoff in primary asbestos-cement pipe manufacturing
  • Sanding in primary and secondary asbestos-cement sheet manufacturing
  • Grinding in primary and secondary friction product manufacturing
  • Carding and spinning in dry textile processes
  • Grinding and sanding in primary plastics manufacturing

17. Are representative employees monitored for TWA and EL at least every six months? [29 CFR 1910.1001(d)(3)]

18. Is a written program to reduce employee exposure below the TWA and EL in place, and is the program reviewed and updated as necessary? [29 CFR 1910.1001(f)(2)(i)]

19. Is asbestos handled, mixed, applied, removed, cut, scored or otherwise worked in a wet state sufficient to reduce employee exposure below the TWA and EL? [29 CFR 1910.1001(f)(1)(vi)]

 

CONTROLS

YES

NO

N/A

20. Are engineering controls used to reduce employee asbestos exposure to the lowest achievable levels and is local exhaust ventilation designed, constructed, installed and maintained in accordance with ANSI Z9.2-1979? [29 CFR 1910.1001(f)(1)(iv)]

21. Are all hand-operated and machine-operated tools that could produce or release asbestos fibers equipped with local exhaust ventilation? [29 CFR 1910.1001(f)(1)(v)]

22. Are respirators used during installation or implementation of: [29 CFR 1910.1001(g)(1)] [29 CFR 1910.134]

  • Engineering and work practice controls
  • Work such as maintenance and repair activities where engineering and work practice controls are infeasible
  • All operations where engineering and work practice controls are not yet sufficient to reduce exposures below the TWA and EL, and during emergencies

23. Are appropriate respirators used in regulated areas? [29 CFR 1910.1001(e)(4)]

24. Are asbestos-containing cements, mortars, coatings, grouts, plaster and similar materials removed from containers while either wet, ventilated or enclosed? [29 CFR 1910.1001(f)(1)(viii)]

25. Is using compressed air to remove asbestos prohibited unless it is done in a containment that will capture all dust? [29 CFR 1910.1001(f)(1)(ix)]

26. Is sanding of asbestos-containing flooring prohibited? [29 CFR 1910.1001(f)(1)(x)]

 

Topics: risk management, workplace safety, OSHA