This policy is designed to ensure that Bridgewater State College employees follow the appropriate asbestos controls and abatement activities to prevent asbestos exposure to building occupants, maintenance personnel, and renovation contractors. This policy applies to all College employees who may come in contact with, or disturb asbestos- containing material. Asbestos can cause serious health problems if not managed in the proper condition and if approved work practices are not followed by employees at the college.
Definitions and Scope
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in certain types of rock formations. Asbestos is not a man made fiber. Asbestos has been used since Roman times, most recently, it has been used in building materials such as pipe wrap, floor/ceiling tiles, and insulation for fire protection because of its physical properties. When asbestos is crushed it does not make ordinary dust, like other rocks, asbestos breaks into tiny, harp fibers that are too small to see. Asbestos is dangerous when you breathe it in. Asbestos fibers are so small they can easily get into your lungs. Asbestos can make you very sick years after you breathe it.
There are six kinds of asbestos fibers, they are all dangerous, but the three most common kinds of asbestos fibers are chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite. Chrysotile asbestos is 95% of all asbestos in buildings. Amosite is less than 5% of all asbestos in buildings. Amosite doesnt soak up water. All asbestos must be wet before you handle it; wetting asbestos helps to keep the fibers out of the air.
Asbestos is the most dangerous when it can crumble in your hands this is called friable asbestos. A friable piece of asbestos is more danger than a non-friable piece of asbestos. The fibers are more likely to get into the air. An example of friable asbestos is sprayed on ceiling insulation. The insulation may fall off the ceiling and get in the air without even being touched. When someone touches the ceiling asbestos may get in the air. When air blows across it, asbestos may get in the air. An example of non-friable asbestos is vinyl-asbestos floor tile (VAT). If you leave it alone, the asbestos fibers will probably stay in the tiles. But if you saw, drill, or sand the tile, asbestos may get into the air.
Asbestos is regulated in Massachusetts by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). Each agency has accepted a significant role in developing and enforcing regulations, which apply to various industries within Massachusetts.
The DEP is responsible for developing and enforcing regulations, which apply to the handling and disposing of asbestos containing material (ACM), whenever ACM waste is generated or likely to be generated. The DEP requires notification of removal or renovation of any amount and type of asbestos. These regulations are developed by the Division of Air Quality Control and are based upon the EPAs NESHAPs an AHERA regulations as well as U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) disposal requirements as they are applicable to asbestos waste. The DLI has developed requirements for the licensing and training of individuals involved in asbestos identification, assessment, design, and abatement activities.
ACM is any material containing greater than 1-% asbestos by weight. An asbestos abatement contractor is any person, firm, or corporation, who has a valid license issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the purpose of removal, enclosure, or encapsulation of ACM. A project monitor is a person who functions as the on-site representative overseeing the activities of the asbestos abatement contractor.
When employees are going to be working around ACM there are certain work practices that need to be followed. The employee also needs to be aware of where all of the ACM is located in the building.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Environmental Health and Safety Officer (EH&S Officer) along with Facilities Management has responsibility for managing all asbestos abatement projects. The EH&S Officer is responsible for ensuring that employees have received asbestos awareness training and that they adhere to the procedures established in the Operations & Management (O&M) Program.
The EH&S Officer is responsible for conducting asbestos awareness training for all College employees and periodically auditing the program. The EH&S Officer will participate in the selection and supervision of the outside contractor on all College abatement projects.
A written Asbestos Management Plan establishes appropriate asbestos controls and abatement activities at the College to prevent asbestos exposure to building occupants, maintenance personnel and renovation contractors. Trained employees should only initiate asbestos abatement procedures.
Class I Abatement Projects
Class I project involves the removal of thermal system insulation (TSI) and sprayed-ACM. These projects have a high potential for the release of asbestos fibers. It is the Colleges policy to utilize the service of a certified abatement contractor if the removal of any Class I materials are necessary. These projects involve the use of special equipment, including respirators and the workers must receive special training.
Class II Abatement Projects
Class II projects involve the removal of miscellaneous materials. Miscellaneous materials include, but are not limited to: Floor tiles (i.e. vinyl asbestos tiles and asphalt planking), ceiling tiles, roofing materials, siding, or transit. It is the Colleges policy to utilize the service of a certified abatement contractor if the removal of any Class II materials are necessary.
Class III Abatement Projects
Class III Operation and Maintenance (O&M) jobs are minor repairs that involve a lower risk than Class II or I work. OSHA defines class III as "repair and maintenance activities involving intentional disturbance of ACM." Class III is limited to incidental cutting away of small amounts of ACM three liner feet or below. College employees must be trained in Asbestos Associated Project Worker to be an able to do Class III Abatement projects.
Class IV Abatement Projects
Class IV of OSHA work involved activities expose which require maintainers to come in contact with but not disturb ACM. Some of these activities may include, but are not limited to washing an ACM floor, dusting in a room with ACM ceiling tiles, or sweeping in an area with ACM pipe insulation.
Awareness Training and Communication
The EH&S Officer conducts all asbestos awareness training for College personnel. The training includes recognition of ACM, the type and condition of the material, and methods and means to minimize exposure and control. Retraining is required whenever there is a change in job that places an employee in a position where she/he comes in contact with ACM. The EH&S Officer will prepare all employee communications regarding asbestos abatement projects.
Effective communication is part of the successful management of ACM. In order to manage the materials every employee at the College needs to be made aware of the materials at the facility. In addition, special training is required for individuals who will perform Class III work practices.
Employee Respirator Use on Asbestos Related Project
Any work involving contact or disturbance of ACM, and requiring use of a respirator, must be performed by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor, or an employee of who has been trained and as an Associate Asbestos Project Worker. The selection and use of respiratory protection must be conducted in accordance with the Colleges Respiratory Protection Policy.
The EH&S Officer will regularly audit the Asbestos Management Program to evaluate College procedures and ensure compliance with applicable regulations. The EH&S Officer and Human Resources will maintain all awareness training records including each employee's name and dates of training. The EH&S Office will retain records of bulk sampling, laboratory analysis, project monitoring reports and audit reports.
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Last Modified: May 5, 2004