Asbestos was widely used in the 1970s for insulation, flooring, and roofing in most residential homes and offices in Australia and other countries. Over the years though, people started removing such asbestos from their buildings because it’s a health risk to human beings.
When asbestos products weaken, they begin to release fibres into the air that present a high risk. When breathed in, the fibres cause long term harm to people. The risks involved are breathing complications, asbestosis and lung cancer which can take a lifetime to cure. It’s highly advisable to have the asbestos removed before the threat increases.
According to the Code of Practice – How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace, removing asbestos requires making a list of existent asbestos, called a register. The register helps in identifying the kind of asbestos present in a building. The task of removing asbestos should only be carried out by a licensed contractor. A licensed contractor knows all the types of asbestos and how to manager each.
Types Of Asbestos
Before handling asbestos, it’s important to know the kind of asbestos you are dealing with. Here are the different types:
Friable Asbestos – This kind of asbestos is in form of powder or can be crashed to a powder form by exerting pressure with your hand, especially when dry.
Non-Friable Asbestos – This kind includes a material that contains asbestos fibres strengthened with a bonding compound.
There are several factors you should have in mind in order to remove asbestos safely:
Have A Control Plan
This ensures that the time of action is well-planned and carried out in the safest manner possible. The plan is focused on ensuring that control measures are taken to reduce risks of asbestos exposure. This plan is only organized by licensed contractors and is prepared before the work begins.
Control The Risk
It’s advisable to try and control the risks associated with removal to ensure that everyone is safe. Here are important measures to take in controlling the risk:
Limit Access: Ensure that you limit access to the site you’re working on. Put up characterize signs and install barricades to inform people that the area is out of bounds.
Decontamination And Disposal Procedures: All asbestos debris from the site should be placed in firmly sealed bags. This ensures that the waste is disposed of correctly and further contamination is avoided.
Respiratory Protective Equipment: Every contactor should provide their workers with appropriate respiratory protective equipment. The equipment protects them from inhaling unhealthy fibres.
Personal Protective Equipment: The contractor and his workers should put on protective clothing at all times while at the site. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes safety footwear, overalls and gloves.
• Air Monitoring: The Code of Practice – How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace also requires that after all the work has been done, an independent licensed asbestos assessor carries out air monitoring. Clearance inspection should also be done and clearance certificates issued. Only then can the building be re-occupied.
Asbestos removal is a task that requires experts. Doing the job by yourself exposes you to long-term health risks. It can already cost you a higher price than the price charged by the professionals. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.