In asbestos emergency repair, some guidelines can be used to keep the level of asbestos exposure to the lowest. A storm damage in a workplace, especially when it involves an asbestos material on the scene, needs a fast response of emergency repair. What should be done when the situation occurs?
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1. Stop work
When a storm strikes, keep in mind to cease all kinds of activities in the area as the storm may release some asbestos fibers into the air.
2. Restrict the access to the site
Make a restriction to the suspected contaminated area can be done by locking every entry door and put warning signs in vital areas to prevent any workers entering the premises and risking themselves to asbestos exposures. Do not forget to turn off any air handling system to prevent a wider area of exposure.
3. Notify the site authorities.
Never try to disturb anything on the wrecked site. Contact the authorities, for example, the facilities management or the security staff and notify the situation ASAP.
4. Let the information of the incident flows
Other members of the workplace need to be notified as well about the situation. Those who are responsible for the maintenance, especially concerning asbestos material, should be the priority of the information flow. The more people know about the incident, more people will be able to prevent the others from entering the damaged site and risking their lives from being exposed to asbestos fibers.
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Nevertheless, the maintenance manager will have the responsibility to do the next step.
5. Inform the asbestos consultant
This step is needed to get a risk assessment and the right management plan as soon as possible.
6. Site visits
The asbestos consultant will then come to the contaminated area to check on the suspected material. Sample-collecting can also be conducted if necessary. When the sample taken has a positive result, notify the asbestos material management coordinator and continue to the next step (point 7). The sample result is negative, inform the asbestos material management coordinator, and continue to point 9.
7. Contact a licensed asbestos contractor for cleanup process
The coordinator of asbestos material management takes in a licensed contractor to do the cleanup. This process is conducted in accompany with the asbestos consultant.
8. Air monitoring
This process is done in the contaminated area to make sure that the level of the dust is still acceptable based on the exposure level. A physical inspection is also conducted after the removal process, to confirm that the removal has reached a standard procedure.
The step is taken to guarantee the safety of unprotected workers who enter the site. When completed, the asbestos consultant releases a document of clearance.
All staff who handle the decontamination process arrange a meeting to evaluate the asbestos management plan.
10. Update the asbestos register
Any changes on asbestos containing materials in the area should be put into the asbestos register.
As a part of sharing the knowledge of safety gear and procedures that should be conducted, it would be wise that not only a professional can understand the steps of emergency procedures. However, it is highly recommended to use an experienced and licensed professional to do the work.
In the event you live or work inside a property that you simply know may include asbestos-containing material (ACM), it’s recommended you invest in an ‘Asbestos Emergency Personal Protection Kit.’
This kit must consist of asbestos rated disposable:
- P2 face mask
- Full body suit
- Boot covers
- Latex gloves
- Leather gloves – large sufficient to fit over latex gloves
You also need to have on hand:
- Plastic spray bottle
- Duct tape x 4 rolls
- A roll of heavy duty builder’s plastic (approx. 3 x 20 meters).
- Heavy duty garbage bags.
- Paint, PVC glue or silicon sealant.
If you accidentally break ACM, like interior or exterior flat sheet, asbestos containing sheet (ACS), or asbestos containing corrugated sheet (ACCS), probably an essential factor would be to cut the spread of asbestos fibers/dust.
It’s the Foundation’s belief you need only to deal with ACM in an emergency circumstance, to create small amounts of broken ACM secure.
Before commencing, you need to fit and put on your ‘Emergency Asbestos Personal Protective Kit’:
- P2 face mask
- Full body coverall suit [Note: When the cuffs are loose fitting wrap duct tape around them]
- Boot covers
- Latex and leather gloves.
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Instantly wet down the impacted broken region and wipe any dust or visible residue off with wet mop, place the wet mop in a heavy duty garbage bag and double the bag. Seal any exposed broken edges of the ACM with paint, PVC glue or silicon kind sealant – this will ensure the asbestos fibers will not leach out from the ACM. Double wrap any broken pieces of ACM in heavy plastic sheeting and disposal of at your nearest authorized ‘asbestos’ disposal facility – Do not BIN – or else get in touch with a licensed asbestos removalist.
Carefully take away your ‘Emergency Asbestos Personal Safety Equipment’, keeping the face cover and latex gloves to last and place all tools in doubled up heavy duty garbage bags, tie each bag closed utilizing duct tape and safely disposed of it. Never use a power tool or vacuum cleaner to clean up or work on ACMs.