How to organize your asbestos management plan
History of Asbestos Applications
In the 1800s, asbestos was among one of the most popular building and commercial products utilized across a plethora of industries. Although history indicates early uses of asbestos dates back to 4000 B.C., the asbestos boom was ignited during the Industrial Revolution. Why? Simply answered: asbestos was cheap, durable, flexible and fireproof. It was the perfect solution for lining steam engines, boilers and hot water pipes. The myriad of applications for asbestos was embedded in almost all commercial and mining products due to the shift of commercialization and manufacturing in the global marketplace.
Fast forward to modern day and asbestos is the culprit behind lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asbestos has been classified as a carcinogen. Some of the most common asbestos products comprise: tiles, automotive parts, cement and textiles. Chances are if your building was built in the 70s, it was most likely built with an asbestos building product of some type.
Asbestos Abatement and the Law
AHERA 40 CFR §763.84 (a-h) regulations requires the following:
- Local education agencies to perform inspections, re-inspections, periodic surveillance
- Develop and update an asbestos management plan (AMP)
- Develop and implement response actions
- Ensure all custodial workers have been trained
- Inform workers and building occupants about inspections, response actions and post-response action activities
- Provide short-term workers with asbestos management plan and locations of asbestos containing building materials
- Post warning labels
- Make the asbestos management plan accessible
- Designate a person to oversee/maintain compliance, train the designated person
- Consider any potential conflicts of interest
This might seem overwhelming and confusing for the designated person, but we’ve identified a few ways to stay in compliance and organized with your AMP.
Asbestos Management Plan
Tips for staying organized:
1. Create a shared calendar between the administration and facility manager
- Mark dates for 3-Year Inspection, Periodic Surveillance and Initial Survey
- Set reminders to automatically ping recipients when something is coming due
- Schedule re-inspections/periodic surveillance at least a month before it expires
2. Keep two copies of the asbestos management plan in a centralized location in the administrative office.
- Make labeling large and legible – in the instance a new custodial worker needs access to the documents.
3. Make a point to revisit the documents once per quarter
- Utilize an in-service day to gather staff to review your AMP.
- Keep all staff and building occupants up-to-date with any changes.
- If anyone needs training or a refresher on your preventative measures and response actions to any friable asbestos.
- Review re-inspection, operations, maintenance activities, and periodic surveillance documentation.
4. Ask questions
- Legal language can be overbearing and confusing. Review the AMP and ask questions to the organizations that provided the sampling or assessments.
- Stay abreast with any changes in the law and/or compliance regulations.
5. Quiz one another
- They say, if you don’t use it, ya lose it. That mantra applies to these regulations. By taking time to quiz other colleagues, this can be an engaging method of learning and understanding the relationship between the law and how your team is working to stay in compliance.
- Quizzing can help with knowledge retention and promoted learning.
- Quizzes break up the material into a more heuristic and understanding format.