How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace

Managing asbestos in the workplace doesn’t have to be difficult – just rely on a reputable and certified firm to inspect or mitigate any problem areas.

Just when you feel like you have been given too much to handle as the leader of your place of business, remember – you are responsible for the safety and well-being of your staff when they are at work, too! While the majority of safety concerns at work revolve around sprains, strains, paper cuts, and neck-aches, one key element to ensuring that your team mates are safe on the job is the evaluation of the potential for asbestos exposure. Most buildings that were constructed in the past thirty years or so pose little risk of exposing occupants to dangerous levels of asbestos fibers, but the vast majority of commercial sites and public buildings can trace their construction back far more than thirty years. This means that asbestos exposure is a real concern at the workplace, and appropriate measures must be taken to keep employees and contractors safe.

First, there is no simple way for the average person to tell whether their workplace is asbestos-free, or poses no real asbestos risk. This is an area in which a trained expert must be called on to identify the tell-tale signs. Your inspector will establish the age of the building, the heating source installed (many heating units – furnaces, boilers, etc., used asbestos gaskets and insulators), and the general condition of the pipe and wire insulation. The roofing material will be inspected, as well as the current state of repair of drywall, floor tiles, and other critical building materials. An important consideration to make is to hire an asbestos inspector who will not be used to make any potential repairs. This eliminates the conflict of interest that may occur when hiring a contractor to both inspect and conduct repairs.
Keep in mind that asbestos is only really harmful when loose fibers are inhaled. Asbestos doesn’t emit any toxins, rather – the miniscule fibers themselves can get inhaled quite easily and can cause a host of serious health concerns. Asbestos mitigation experts can seal asbestos-laden materials to prevent future contamination, or they can remove the asbestos-based components and replace them with safer, more contemporary parts. Make sure that you do all that you can to keep your employees and visitors safe by contacting a company that is well-versed in analyzing the severity of asbestos exposure in the workplace. Then, contract for asbestos mitigation or removal if the levels are too high and you’ll feel good knowing that you’re protecting those around you.

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