Asbestos Abatement – Your Rights and Risks
The Asbestos Abatement Program, otherwise referred to as Asbestos Disposal, is responsible for making sure that abatement projects are done safely and according to the law; offers training, advice, and enforcement to make sure compliance with our state’s asbestos control act; and offers legal assistance to qualified asbestos abatement project participants. There are many aspects to the Asbestos Abatement Program, including periodic inspections and annual training. Inspections are required both before and after the asbestos removal process has been completed. There are also training seminars held monthly throughout the state.
During an inspection, your inspector will check for asbestos abatement, health hazards related to asbestos abatement, site contamination, potential electrical and plumbing problems, visual asbestos damage, and physical contamination, such as friable fibers and dust. The inspector will also check for radon and radium concentration. They may request sites to be tested for safety concerns such as radon gas presence, concentration, or soil quality. They will review your plan of action and provide a detailed written estimate as well as recommendations for asbestos abatement and safety. They may also recommend alternatives to asbestos abatement such as use of low-income housing or development of community gardens. Lastly, your inspector will address other issues such as disposal and compensation for employees exposed to the hazardous effects of Asbestos.
When it comes to asbestos abatement in public buildings and structures, project designers must abide by the federal regulations contained in the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition to federal regulations, state and local governments may also have different laws or restrictions. Before you begin any work under the supervision of a contractor, be sure to find out about the specific requirements in your state. It is important that you consult with your states’ attorney general or state department of health to determine what your rights are in this matter.
In the process of asbestos abatement, contractors generally work with individuals affected by the condition, including family members, employees, friends, co-workers, and the public. It is important to remember that asbestos-containing materials should be kept in locked cabinets or filed in secure locations during demolition or asbestos removal. You should also keep notes regarding your rights during this process so that you can later document these if you need support in court. Asbestos abatement contractors also need to protect themselves from Asbestos poisoning.
In order to protect themselves, workers, and families from Asbestos-related illnesses and death, all asbestos abatement project designs should include stipulations and protocol for the safe storage, testing, and removal of Asbestos waste. Stipulations should include specific times and days that waste needs to be removed from the public buildings or facilities. Stipulations should also include the process for filing a complaint if a Asbestos related illness occurs as a result of a poorly handled Asbestos abatement project. Also, all asbestos management plans and protocols related to personal protective equipment (PPE) should be included.
The health effects of Asbestos exposure include, but are not limited to, chest illnesses, asbestosis, pleural plaques, lung cancer, asbestosis scarring, and damage to the nervous system, kidney and intestinal function, blood cell counts, and hormonal changes. To be aware of your unique risks, you should schedule an appointment with an asbestos abatement specialist today. During your initial visit, the specialist will asses your specific situation and discuss your occupational safety and health needs. If asbestos removal is recommended based on your evaluation, a contractor will discuss with you the options for asbestos abatement, including what types of asbestos materials will be used, the time it will take to complete the project, and the associated risk factors. By having this consultation, you will have a better understanding of your asbestos exposure and your unique risk factors.