One thing that can be truly terrible for a person and their loved ones is asbestos poisoning. A poisoning that can lead to mesothelioma which can be a very deadly form of cancer. Exposure to asbestos can lead to chronic breathing problems and other kinds of upper repertory infections that can be fatal to one’s health. If you run a business that requires employees to work in older buildings and structures, you must take steps to protect them from asbestos. Below are a few strategies you can use.
1. Protective Clothing
One way to stop an employee from coming into contact with asbestos is by requiring him or her to wear the appropriate protective gear. This should include gloves, coveralls, feet coverings, and protective goggles and face shields. Make sure the gear that is supplied is rated specifically for protection against asbestos exposure. Such gear should always be worn when entering areas in buildings, ships and other structures that possibly contain asbestos. If you aren’t sure whether or not asbestos exists in a location, it’s best to play it safe until you have had the building checked out and cleared by professionals. Once that happens, you can be more lenient on your employee dress code.
In addition to clothing, employees also need the correct equipment when contact with asbestos is a possibility. The most important piece of equipment is a respirator. A respirator filters a person’s air supply to make sure fine particles do not make it through to the lungs. The only respirator that should be used for such a task is one that has been rated as safe for air supplies contaminated with asbestos. This should be running throughout our building constantly until the threat of asbestos or any other containments are clear from your building and your employees health are safe.
3. HAZMAT and HAZWOPER Certification
If you know employees will have to deal with asbestos on a job site, you should make sure they first receive HAZMAT and HAZWOPER certification. These certifications show that a person has the ability to safely remove dangerous contaminants like asbestos from a job site. To obtain these certifications, staff members should first receive training from an organization like National Environmental Trainers. Knowing how to safely handle hazardous materials requires the appropriate knowledge and skills.
4. Removal and Sealing
If you have a proposed jobsite that may contain asbestos, you should have that building inspected for asbestos contamination by professionals. The asbestos should then either be removed or sealed. Sealing involves coating the asbestos with a material that binds the particles together and prevents them from entering the air supply. Removal may be safer but is also more expensive. Ideally, you should have the asbestos removed, but listen to what is recommended by professionals in what would be better off for your building and the health of your employees.
Asbestos can cause serious health problems that last for the rest of a person’s life. Exposure may even cause death. You need to make absolutely sure your employees are protected from asbestos at all times while working for your company.