Asbestos has been used in various building materials for decades. Its use has been widely praised until it was discovered that asbestos has been linked to various lung diseases found in workers who have had long-term exposure to it. It has since been banned for use in building material, but many older buildings still contain asbestos, which creates a lingering safety hazard for workers particularly in construction, industrial, and firefighting.
According to the OSHA regulation regarding asbestos, employers must take all precautions necessary to protect workers against the risk of asbestos exposure. “On multi-employer worksites, an employer performing work requiring the establishment of a regulated area shall inform other employers on the site of the nature of the employer’s work with asbestos and/or PACM, of the existence of and requirements pertaining to regulated areas, and the measures taken to ensure that employees of such other employers are not exposed to asbestos.” (1926.1101).
OSHA also states that “In addition, all employers of employees exposed to asbestos hazards shall comply with applicable protective provisions to protect their employees. For example, if employees working immediately adjacent to a Class I asbestos job are exposed to asbestos due to the inadequate containment of such job, their employer shall either remove the employees from the area until the enclosure breach is repaired; or perform an initial exposure assessment pursuant to (f) of this section.”
This essentially means that if you as an employee are exposed to asbestos while performing your job tasks, it’s your employers right to decontaminate you, as well as keep the contaminated are isolated from employees to avoid risk.
The following infographic breaks down everything you need to know about asbestos, it’s hazards, and how to avoid them if you have a job in the industries at the greatest risk of exposure.
To learn more about asbestos, you can read our blog post “What is asbestos and do I still need to worry about it?”.