There are many misconceptions about asbestos and what asbestos exposure can do to our bodies. However, the undeniable fact is that employers are responsible for keeping their employees safe from asbestos exposure. This is why it is so important for you to hire a professional tester to help you test for asbestos in your workplace. It would not only grant you peace of mind, but help to prevent yourself from getting into any liability issues.
What Exactly is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to a group of six different minerals that can be hazardous to humans. They are characterized by their needle-like fibers and the fact that they can become airborne when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed. When the fibers become airborne, they can easily become lodged in our lungs, causing all kinds of respiratory problems and in serious cases, lung cancer and mesothelioma (a type of lung cancer).
It was typically used in the past when there was a surge or industrial activity. Asbestos was valued for its natural properties that could help make items fire proof and resistant to heat. This is why we can find asbestos in old buildings especially in insulating materials today. Mesothelioma is the cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure, while asbestosis is a disease that causes severe damage and scarring to the lungs. Asbestos is a dangerous material that we should avoid at all costs.
Even though asbestos is rarely used today in the United States, there are still a growing number of people who suffer from asbestos related illnesses. This is why it is so important for employers to look out for OSHA regulations regarding asbestos exposure, especially when work such as renovation and demolition take place. The vibrations and activities can result in asbestos-containing materials to be disturbed, releasing the dangerous fibers into the air.
Knowing how to protect your workers will only be good to business. It will keep you and your team healthy and will be good for the long-term growth of your company as well. It can be a real hassle to deal with lawsuits that might arise because of asbestos exposure.
Why is Asbestos Not Banned?
There is a kind of grey area when it comes to the legality of asbestos. The banning of asbestos mining and products only took place recently in the United States. However, it is important to note that the asbestos-containing materials are still legal. In fact, asbestos exposure is still very common because of activities like construction and cleaning. As such, it is essential that employers keep up with the latest OSHA regulations.
Removing These Materials
Asbestos is only harmful to us when the asbestos-containing materials are being disturbed. If your employees need to work around these materials, it is crucial that you acquire the proper documentation and impose the safety precautions as stated by the regulations. This includes having the proper safety gear, getting tools to measure asbestos levels, setting up signage to warn the public of possible risks, and providing medical coverage for asbestos exposure.