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Practical guidelines for building owners
CONTENTSInventory of materials suspected of containing asbestos in a building
Assessment of asbestos-containing materials
Implementation of corrective measures
Operation and maintenance programs
Friable asbestos-containing materials are present in many public and commercial buildings, schools and factories built before the mid-70's. Regulations in Ontario and some other provinces require building owners and property managers to put in place asbestos control programs, once they are aware of the presence of friable asbestos-containing materials in their buildings.
In developing an asbestos control program, one or more of the following tasks should be undertaken:
A. Inventory of materials suspected of containing asbestos in a building
The following tasks should be performed by a qualified survey team:
The analytical report should indicate:
B. Assessment of asbestos-containing materials
After the locations of the asbestos-containing materials have been identified, physical inspection and assessment of these materials are required.
Evaluation of the potential hazard presented by friable asbestos-containing materials in the buildings involves appraisal, by trained observers, of a number of factors:
These factors generally include:
The following conditions should be documented if present:
Review future renovation plans.
The assessment can be conducted by the same personnel responsible for the building survey to provide the most cost-effective approach.
Based on this assessment, the scope of the asbestos control program can be established.
C. Implementation of corrective measures
Corrective measures, if required, may include one or more of the following:
This option can only be selected if repair or removal of the asbestos-containing materials is not practical.
The encapsulant creates a membrane over the surface (bridging encapsulant) or penetrates the material and binds its components together (penetrating encapsulant).
Encapsulation is not applicable if the materials is deteriorated or has insufficient adhesion.
The encapsulation option can only be selected for limited size areas where complete removal is not warranted or practical.
Removal of friable asbestos-containing materials should take place only when:
When the decision is made to remove friable asbestos-containing materials, detailed site specific specifications have to be prepared, by qualified personnel, to ensure the safety and health protection of building occupants and workers who are executing the abatement activities.
The following factors should be taken into consideration:
Removal of friable asbestos insulation materials is a dangerous process that should be planned for and executed carefully by a competent and qualified team. Both the consultant and the contractor should have a properly trained work force.
Potential difficulties and problem areas during the removal process should be anticipated and planned for before starting any asbestos abatement activity.
Regulations provide general guidelines for asbestos control which are applicable to a wide variety of situations. Accordingly, site specific specifications are required to translate these regulations to the abatement project being considered and to specify the level of performance to be achieved during and after the completion of the abatement activities.
Air monitoring during asbestos removal is required in many cases, including:
Typically, the removal of sprayed-on fireproofing material containing asbestos and the replacement cost, is about 10 to 15 dollars per square foot. However, this cost can be significantly higher if there are many restrictions on the execution of the work.^
With respect to high density non-friable asbestos-containing products, such as asbestos-cement cladding, pipe, roofing tiles, vinyl floor tiles, gaskets and packings and friction materials, regulations require only simple, straight-forward workplace practices and procedures when installing, repairing or removing these materials.
D. Operation and maintenance programs
The purpose of the Operations and Maintenance Program is to ensure that appropriate precautionary measures are taken by maintenance and custodial workers, and outside contractors, when undertaking activities which could potentially disturb asbestos-containing materials.
The elements of the program include:
A site specific Operation and Maintenance Manual for each building should be developed by a competent consultant. This manual should be made available to the operation and maintenance staff in the building, or any outside contractors, who may disturb asbestos-containing materials, during the course of their activities.
The Operation and Maintenance Manual should contain sections addressing the following topics, as applicable:
The cost of implementing an effective Operation and Maintenance Program, to control potential asbestos exposure in a building is fairly small, in comparison with the potential cost of complete removal. Accordingly, removal of asbestos-containing materials should only be considered when no other options are applicable.
E. Asbestos-related training
Training courses will be required for all participants in the Asbestos Control Program. These may include:
Each of the above groups should be introduced to all the subjects listed below. The scope and duration of the training course will depend on the requirements of each group and their role in the Asbestos Control Program.
The asbestos training course to be given to the maintenance staff should include, hands-on instruction on the following subjects, where applicable:
Surveillance (periodic assessment) should be performed on all friable asbestos-containing materials, which remain in the building.
The items to be included in the surveillance program should be established after the initial survey, assessment, and corrective measures have been undertaken.
All enclosed and encapsulated asbestos-containing materials should be included in the surveillance program.
The frequency of surveillance is dependent on a number of factors, such as, the condition of the materials, accessibility, level of activity in the area, etc.
Corrective measures, if required, should be executed according to appropriate procedures, immediately following any surveillance program.
Regular surveillance programs are required as long as there remain friable asbestos-containing materials in the building.
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