If you work as a construction worker, there is a real risk that you will be exposed to asbestos on the job, especially if you are tearing down or remodeling old builds that were built when asbestos building material was more commonly used. Here are four tips that will help reduce your exposure to asbestos.
#1 Always Assess A Worksite On Your Own
If you suspect that a worksite has asbestos, and your employer has not identified the site as containing asbestos, do an inspection of your own. Become familiar with the older building material that was used in your area that contained asbestos so you can spot it more effectively. It was often used as siding and as insulation on heating ducts in older homes. You will most likely encounter it when working on an older building.
If you spot what you think is asbestos on your worksite, ask your company to have the area tested. There is no reason to unnecessarily expose yourself to asbestos.
#2 Suit Up Properly When Asbestos Is Known To Be Present
When you are working on a job site that you know has asbestos, make sure that you are suited up properly to deal with its removal. Your suit should cover up your body head to toe; you should not have any exposed skin when you are suited-up. Ideally, your suit should be rated and created for bio-hazard situations. It is the tiny flakes of asbestos that can be deadly, which is why you want to protect your entire body against any interaction with the asbestos.
#3 Use NIOSH-Approved Respirators
Next, you need to use NIOSH-approved respirators. NIOSH is The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and they set workplace standards to ensure that workers are safe no matter what type of materials they are working with. These types of respirators have been thoroughly tested to ensure that you will not breathe in any asbestos fibers or dust and get them into your lungs.
#4 Clean Off At The End Of The Day
At the end of the day, you need to clean off. Ideally, you should remove your protective gear and take a shower at the end of the day to ensure that no dust or asbestos particles made it onto your body or off the job site. You should not go home in your bio-hazard suit or even sit on your vehicle; your suit could have asbestos on it, and you don't want to transfer the material into your personal environment or outside of the job site.
By taking the above steps, you should be able to reduce your risk of being exposed to asbestos on the jobsite. Remember to always be your own best advocate, and if you suspect asbestos, notify your supervisor and suit up. Another hazard you should be aware of is mold. Contact a company that specializes in mold remediation, such as 3 R's Construction Management LLC, for more information.