Asbestos law: How workers need to be protected
There’s no doubt that the laws on asbestos are tightening, and it’s really no surprise why. With more and more deaths being attributed to this substance, the authorities really have made changes which should hopefully cut down on the amount of fatalities in the future.
We were only reading the Twitter feed of Jeffrey Glassman and noticed that even more fines are set to come into play for those who are subjected to asbestos exposure.
It means that both employers and employees need to know the regulations more than ever before. Let’s take a look at some of the key rules that have to be adhered to in this industry.
Additional protective clothing is required
Building workers have required additional protective clothing for years, but when it comes to asbestos the rules are even more stringent.
As well as wearing all of the standard protection, workers must also have access to other items. The most notable one of these is a respirator and suffice to say, the majority of building sites are not armed with such equipment.
Showers are required on-site
The size of some sites dictates that showers are a requirement. Particularly on smaller developments, this isn’t necessarily the case though.
Well, if you or your employees are working with asbestos, showers must be installed on-site. As well as this, the showers can’t be a hosepipe or any other makeshift measure; they must be fully working with hot water.
Employers also need to provide any other equipment that can help protect the employee after working with asbestos.
Medical examinations are mandatory
Perhaps one of the more interesting requirements relates to medical examinations.
OSHA have stated that these must be provided to anyone who has been in contact with asbestos directly, or to anyone who has been in contact with a different material that might contain asbestos.
Again, this is stark difference to the rest of the construction industry.
Breaks must be regular
Employees tend to be given breaks in a lot of fields, but if they happen to be dealing with asbestos they are suddenly provided much more leeway.
The rules state that anyone who is exposed to the substance through any sort of renovation, repair or remodeling job should be provided “several” breaks and not be exposed for long periods of time to the substance.
Of course, there could be some confusion in relation to the definitions here and what might be “several” breaks for one person, might not necessarily be for another.
Nevertheless, the rules do stipulate this and it again means that work on an asbestos-ridden site is much more fragmented than any other.
People must be warned
The last point we’re going to make is probably the most obvious and whether you have worked in this industry or not, you’ve probably been made aware of it.
In simple terms, if a site is contaminated with asbestos, warning signs must be clearly visible to anyone who visits. It again reinforces just how dangerous this substance can be, and how the authorities are attempting to avoid a repeat of recent years which has seen a lot of people suffer due to historic exposure to it.