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Avoid Serious Illness: Protect Your Workers from Asbestos Exposure

  Subscribe to FREE newsletter  Feb 19, 2016

Asbestos, which was once used for insulating buildings and for fireproofing, can be hazardous to workers’ health. It can cause cancer and other diseases.

According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), it is impossible for the human eye to detect asbestos fibers. It can be found in many materials on a job site, including thermal system insulation, roofing and siding shingles, and industrial pipe wrapping.

The Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for asbestos is 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air as an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA), with an excursion limit (EL) of 1.0 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter over a 30-minute period. Employers must ensure workers are not exposed above those limits.

Employers must also monitor workplaces to determine if asbestos exposure is at or above the PEL or EL for workers who are or are expected to be exposed to asbestos. Hazard communication, through the use of warning signs, should be placed in areas that have exposures above the PEL or EL.

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