24. May 2017

Asbestos Abatement in Demolition

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a general term relating to a group of fibrous materials that occur naturally. These materials have high tensile strength and are resistance to heat, electricity, and chemicals. In the construction industry, asbestos may be found in a wide array of products such as pipe insulation, roofing felts, sprayed-on fireproofing, drywall joint compounds, and more. Very little asbestos is used today; however, the material may still exist in older buildings. Thus, asbestos abatement measures are crucial to the demolition sector.

What Dangers Does Asbestos Exposure Present?

Asbestos can enter the body when a person inhales or otherwise ingests the airborne particles. These particles become embedded in the respiratory or digestive system tissues. This can lead to a number of disease or disorders including asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, or gastrointestinal cancer. In general, symptoms of these disease become apparent decades after the initial exposure.

The asbestos standard for the construction industry is 29 CFR Part 1926.1101 (see www.osha.gov), and it regulates asbestos exposure for the following activities:

  • Demolishing or salvaging structures where asbestos is present.
  • Removing or encapsulating asbestos-containing material (ACM).
  • Constructing, altering, repairing, maintaining, or renovating asbestos-containing structures or substrates.
  • Installing asbestos-containing products.
  • Cleaning up asbestos spills/emergencies.
  • Transporting, disposing, storing, containing, and housekeeping involving asbestos or asbestos-containing products on a construction site.

What is the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for Asbestos?

Employers must ensure the employees are not exposed to an airborne concentration of asbestos greater than .01 f/cc as an 8-hour-time-weighted average (TAW). In addition, no employee can be exposed to anything greater than 1 f/cc in a TWA of 30 minutes.

Who Communicates Hazards from Asbestos at Worksites?

Nothing more crucial than communicating the potential hazards to asbestos exposure on a worksite. Because the majority of asbestos-related construction exists in older facilities, the building owners are frequently the main source for data on the construction materials.

Building owners and employers of persons facing potential asbestos exposure have specific responsibilities under OSHA rules. Prior to work beginning, building owners must identify the following: troweled-on surfacing materials, sprayed on surface materials, and all thermal system insulation. They must notify all of the following of the results per OSHA:

  • Prospective employers applying or bidding for work in or adjacent to areas containing asbestos.
  • Building owners’ employees who work in or adjacent to these areas.
  • Other employers on multi-employer worksites with employees working in or adjacent to these areas.
  • All tenants who will occupy the areas containing ACM.

Demolition employers that find any ACM on a worksite is required to notify both the building owner and other employers working onsite within 24 hours. They must include the location, presence, and quantity. The employer must also notify owners and workers adjacent to the identified site. No later than 10 days after the project completion, employers must notify building owners and other employers of any remaining quantities of ACM and their current location.

Demolition employers do not need to inform employees of any non-asbestos containing materials on site. However, employers must maintain and retain the information and data that supports the determination.

SV Demolition maintains the highest standards of safety for our employees, and the translates into higher service for our clients. Contact us today for the best demolition services that adhere to all laws and regulations for safety. Our number is 408.218.0993 to learn more.