Although newer projects and development programs are taking special attention to managing and controlling the exposure of asbestos, there are still a few potential threats to asbestos exposure. And to control this and in the way to develop a healthy working environment, construction businesses must have a well-developed and well-executed asbestos management plan.
Most governments have made it a norm that all non-domestic properties must take an effort in developing a plan for asbestos management or take help from a third-party management company. With severe health issues and environmental hazards that are promoted through mismanaged asbestos exposure, it has now become crucial to adopt policies and plans that could help in keeping it in check.
With all these being said and considering the legal troubles that many business owners have to undergo due to asbestos, let’s find out why this is such a problem.
Why is asbestos considered dangerous?
Inhaling the smaller particles of asbestos present in the air of a space that was exposed to these minerals, can lead to some fatal diseases. Medical evidence shows that asbestos exposure can lead to some serious lung trouble in the long run. Although it does not have any immediate effect but down the line some years later it could badly affect the lungs and develop into some lethal diseases. In most cases, it is the workers working in construction industries who are exposed to asbestos. They also happen to bring it along in their clothes where the particles struck and their families inhale and get affected.
It is thus very essential that construction businesses take immediate steps and plan accordingly to control and manage asbestos exposure in the workplace.
Can asbestos exposure affect your business?
As an employer, it is your legal duty to care for your employee’s safety and health. Employers should seriously consider the health risks associated with certain materials and take action to protect and nullify the risk factors. The negligence of that will not only put the workers at health risk but will also invite legal trouble for the employer.
Many countries and their working policies include certain norms under which if an employee or worker reports any incidence of asbestos exposure, the concerned authority must address the issue and take immediate action. If the negative risks of asbestos exposure are experienced, an employer can land in legal trouble and undergo prosecution, fines, and also bear the medical expenses of the person injured. And so, for seamless business management and to maintain a healthy working environment, it is essential that business owners maintain an asbestos management plan.
How to mitigate the risks of asbestos exposure?
The asbestos management programs are developed to address the maintenance and handling of asbestos-containing buildings and materials. Considering the health risks of workers and keeping the environment clean, the use of asbestos in building materials is eliminated after 1999. This means any construction from the year 2000 can be apparently considered asbestos-free. However, workers and people can still be exposed to asbestos during the handling and maintenance of old buildings.
Here are a few ways through which, employers or construction business owners can work towards mitigating the exposure of asbestos:
- Identify the asbestos-containing materials to start working on how to control and manage the exposure.
- Try eliminating the scope for working with asbestos to prevent exposure.
- When it is difficult to eliminate the risk, develop a plan highlighting the risk factors and identifying the actions that need to be taken.
- The workers must be provided with appropriate protective gear to work in the risk areas. The concerned authority should also make sure that the protective respiratory gear is in a fully working state to eliminate the chances of exposure.
- Conduct training sessions for workers working in non-licensed asbestos work and follow appropriate norms of protection.
- Take special care that the asbestos waste is disposed of carefully and with safety to terminate the chances of exposure.
In addition, employers or business owners can also hire a third-party company who have the license to deal with asbestos and also has an effective asbestos management plan. They can take care of the management and are equipped with the right kind of materials that could help you streamline the asbestos management process.
How to identify the presence of asbestos in a workplace?
Most old buildings are found to have the presence of asbestos in their construction materials. But if you are still unsure if your business is located in a place that could have the presence of asbestos, you can simply for an asbestos survey.
A licensed company would conduct a survey across the building and identify the presence of asbestos and can also help you with handling and managing it. Once, asbestos is identified in a building, immediate steps should be taken to mitigate the risks and control the exposure and harmful effects of asbestos.
Managing and maintaining asbestos is not a difficult task, it requires some awareness and knowledge. You can devise an effective asbestos management plan or hire a third party asbestos managing company to help you maintain a healthy work environment for your employees.