Asbestos was used in the past in a wide range of building materials because of its good chemical makeup, high tensile strength and heat resistance. However, everything changed when it was discovered that materials that contain asbestos were releasing airborne fibres to the environment that could cause asbestosis, lung cancers and mesothelioma. The only solution was to ban the use of such materials.
Despite being officially banned, asbestos is still present in most buildings, and property owners using such structures need to come up with an effective asbestos management strategy to minimise risks. These silicate materials are toxic and resist all natural cleaning procedures the human lungs perform. So how do you ensure that your building is safe? Below are the strategies you can consider.
Asbestos identification and register creation
The first and most significant step to managing asbestos risk is identifying it. The exposure to asbestos shouldn't exceed the set limit, so identifying asbestos, including the materials that contain asbestos, is essential. This essential task should only be assigned to a professional who is trained and experienced in asbestos management. They should have the right equipment for the task to offer reliable results that will help building owners to take the right risk management measures.
If the asbestos experts find hazardous materials in the building, be sure to create a register and maintain it. The register must contain all identified materials and where they are located. It's advisable to mention the date, type of material, as well as its condition. The register must be updated regularly by the experts who conducted the asbestos identification survey. Since the market is flooded with many asbestos removal companies, ensure you only work with a company that's experienced and reputable.
Implementation of control measures
Now that you know where asbestos is, it's time to take the necessary measures to control the situation. The actions you take will depend on the severity of the case and may include minimising the exposure or eliminating the problem for good so all occupants can stay healthy and safe. The affected area can be sealed off, or you can hire a licensed asbestos removal expert to remove asbestos from the building. Safe procedures also need to be implemented, and the occupants should know what to do if an asbestos-related emergency, incident or accident occurs.
Do not hesitate to involve staff members in all the procedures and create a clear communication channel they can use when an issue occurs. Encouraging them to take part in asbestos management will promote the effectiveness of your strategy and their safety as well.