Commonly Forgotten Asbestos Removal Safety Measures

29 November 2021
 Categories: Environmental, Blog

Ever since asbestos was declared a carcinogenic material, licenced asbestos abatement companies have continued to help property owners remove the material from their buildings. The reason is that licenced asbestos abatement companies are well equipped to deal with the material safely. Notably, asbestos abatement companies need to observe critical safety precautions during removal. However, some safety precautions are commonly ignored or forgotten, exposing staff to asbestos. This article highlights the commonly ignored asbestos removal safety guidelines.

Regular Seal Inspection

When removing asbestos from a building, it is vital to seal the work area with plastic sheeting and tape. It helps contain asbestos fibres, preventing them from entering AC vents and other spaces outside the work area. If the plastic sheeting tears, an asbestos removal exercise must stop until the breach is addressed. Thus, asbestos removal staff must constantly inspect the plastic seal to identify tears and loose tape. The last thing an asbestos abatement company should do is install plastic sheeting and forget about it. Notably, a lack of regular inspection increases the chances of missing a tear or loose tape, allowing asbestos fibres to spread. If someone suffers from asbestos exposure resulting from such negligence, a service provider could be sued.

Double-Bagging Asbestos Material

Whether the asbestos in question is friable, non-friable, or a mixture of both, asbestos material should be double-bagged using polythene bags. It prevents exposure should an asbestos-containing material tear through the inner bag. However, it is easy to forget double-bagging asbestos, especially if the material is soft. The assumption is that the soft asbestos-containing materials cannot cut or tear through a polythene bag. Well, if the bag catches onto a loose wire or piece of sharp metal on a garbage truck, its contents will spill and go airborne. Such an incidence exposes asbestos removal staff and the public to asbestos poisoning.

Overalls Over Boots

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory for anyone involved in asbestos removal activities. The basic PPEs include a respiratory mask, gloves, helmet, overalls, and non-laced boots. Ideally, cleaners should wear overalls over boots to prevent asbestos fibres from entering the shoes. However, some cleaners tuck their overalls in their boots, thinking it is the best way to keep asbestos fibres off their skin. Unfortunately, it increases the chances of asbestos fibres entering the boots, mainly when removing PPEs. Even if staff cover their boots with plastic bags, asbestos fibres will fall inside the shoes with tucked overalls.

To get professional help with your asbestos problem, contact an asbestos removal company.