Asbestos Awareness in Construction

Asbestos is a mineral that was commonly used in construction materials in the past. However, it has since been found to cause serious health effects, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. In this blog post, we will discuss asbestos awareness in construction and how workers can protect themselves from asbestos exposure.

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established guidelines for asbestos exposure in the construction industry, which are outlined in the OSHA 1926.1101 document. It is essential that workers and employers in the construction industry are aware of these guidelines to prevent asbestos exposure and minimize health risks.

Asbestos Exposure in Construction

Asbestos exposure can occur through inhalation of asbestos fibers, which are released into the air when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed or damaged. This can happen during construction activities such as drilling, cutting, sanding, or demolition of asbestos-containing materials.

The health effects of asbestos exposure can be severe and can include lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. These diseases can take years or even decades to develop and can be fatal.

OSHA Guidelines for Asbestos Exposure

OSHA has established permissible exposure limits (PELs) for asbestos in the workplace. The PELs are based on an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA) exposure level and vary depending on the type of asbestos.

Employers are required to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers who may be exposed to asbestos, including respirators, gloves, and protective clothing. Employers are also required to implement engineering controls, such as ventilation systems, to minimize exposure to asbestos fibers.

In addition, OSHA requires employers to develop and implement a written exposure control plan (ECP) for asbestos exposure. The ECP should include procedures for monitoring and measuring asbestos exposure, as well as procedures for controlling exposure, such as the use of PPE and engineering controls.

Workers’ Responsibilities

Workers have a responsibility to protect themselves from asbestos exposure by following established safety procedures, including wearing appropriate PPE and following safe work practices. Workers should also report any concerns about asbestos exposure to their employer immediately.

Workers who may be exposed to asbestos should receive appropriate training on asbestos awareness and safe work practices. This training should cover the health effects of asbestos exposure, how to use PPE, and how to work safely with asbestos-containing materials.

Module Preview

Abreu Training offers an online 3-hour module. The module offers current OSHA and industry information on asbestos awareness to recognize hazards at worksites. Students will be able to recognize asbestos hazards in construction. Click here to learn more

In conclusion, asbestos awareness is essential in the construction industry to protect workers from the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. Employers must follow OSHA guidelines for asbestos exposure, including providing appropriate PPE and implementing engineering controls. Workers also have a responsibility to protect themselves by following established safety procedures and reporting any concerns about asbestos exposure to their employer. With proper asbestos awareness and safety precautions, workers can stay safe and healthy while working in the construction industry.