Employers and Dealing with Asbestos at the Work Place
As an employer, you need to protect your employees from asbestos that may be present in the old renovated buildings that house your offices. While a lot of information is available on how to deal with asbestos at home, an employer may just not be aware of how they should handle asbestos concerns at the workplace. As an employer, your employees' health, and any risks that may arise at the workplace are your direct responsibilities. Inhaling asbestos fibers is one such risk. Fibers of asbestos are known to cause asbestosis which is a formation of scar tissue in lungs and mucus cavities within the inhaler. Asbestos fibers have also been shown to cause lung cancer, formation of mesotheliomic tumors, among other disorders.
Here are some ways of effectively protecting your employees before, during, and even after asbestos removal.
Make an asbestos register
You must first get a licensed removalist to assess your entire office complex and note down all the present asbestos material and all likely asbestos containing material. This list should also indicate the dates of the survey and should be updated over a period. The register should also state the current state of the asbestos containing material (whether friable or non friable). An asbestos register should be kept at work and made available to workers, health representatives, and practically anybody that needs to know about this information. Before renovations in your office or any construction work that you have scheduled, you should share the list with the arriving workers and have an asbestos removal expert present if the work may come in contact with any item on your list. It is also good to handover the register to new owners if you are selling the space or moving out of the space.
Come up with an asbestos management plan
If asbestos containing material was identified in your office space, you should come up with a management plan. The management plan should contain information regarding asbestos, its identification, and the procedure for dealing with an incident. All employees must be aware of this plan. Furthermore, employers should revise their management plan if asbestos removal was conducted, changes in the office layout were done, or if a health or safety inspector advises you so. Once again, this plan should be made available to all your employees and everyone else accessing your offices for whichever reason.
Refurbishments, renovations, or demolitions
As with many offices, physical changes can be scheduled any time. Before embarking on changes that may disturb asbestos such as demolitions or renovations, it is important that you try getting a licensed asbestos removal expert like McMahon Services to remove any asbestos from the area the work will be done. Remember, you may need clearance from a regulatory body before carrying out any demolitions or renovations in areas containing either friable or non friable asbestos.