There has been a lot of changes in laws governing construction, therefore eliminating the use of asbestos. However, there is still a potential risk when it comes to old buildings. There are many ways that workers are still be exposed to asbestos, such as:
- Mining and processing asbestos minerals
- Manufacturing products containing asbestos
- Demolishing or renovating ships constructed with asbestos material
- Disposing asbestos waste
- Construction workers sanding, drilling, scraping, or generally disturbing any surface containing asbestos.
If workers are renovating old buildings where asbestos was used, they are likely to be exposed. Other common industries where one can be exposed include asphalt, firefighting, chemical industry, coal mine, and power generation. Since many workers still face the risk of exposure, asbestos awareness is essential. Here are a few steps to manage asbestos at work.
Take Asbestos Assessment Training
As a business owner, you can reduce the risk of asbestos exposure by ensuring your staff members undergo relevant training. Get them up to speed with safety practices when it comes to asbestos. Management of asbestos starts by training the people who keep your business running. It also reduces the risk of you being sued.
Use the Right Protective Gear
For anyone working with asbestos, they need to wear protective gear, including disposable coveralls, gloves, and footwear. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, anyone working with asbestos must wear proper respiratory protection and clothing.
Medical Monitoring for Workers Exposed to Asbestos
Workers who are often exposed to asbestos need to be monitored by physicians from time to time. The clinical tests include a lung function test, health questionnaires, and asbestos exposure history. Workers should ensure they keep the records indicating they have been exposed to asbestos at work.
Know the Law
People need to be aware of the laws governing asbestos exposure. When one knows how to safely deal with asbestos, then they minimize the risks. Additionally, people need to know what steps they should take when they are wrongly exposed. Learn more about how you can file a lawsuit for compensation if you find yourself in that position.
Learn How to Identify Asbestos
Any worker in an industry associated with the risk of asbestos exposure needs to learn how to identify it. In an industry like construction, workers should inquire when the building was constructed. The use of asbestos in construction was abolished entirely several years ago. If workers are unsure of the history of a building they are working on, they should check that out. Speak to people who helped design the building to get background information. Another way is by investigating materials that were used during construction or refurbishments.
Other Safety Practices
Other safety practices that workers should follow to minimize risk include
- They should not eat, drink or smoke in any area with asbestos
- Avoid using compressed air to remove dust or clean any surfaces with asbestos
- Frequently clean the work area after completion of work
- Decontaminating protective gear before leaving any work area with asbestos
Implementing these strategies reduces the health risks associated with asbestos exposure like Mesothelioma. It is therefore essential that both employers and their workers adhere to them.