By definition, “if you work around, or near asbestos”.  Which leads to:

When do I work around it?

  • Answer: Buildings build before 1985 (some say 1980) might have it.

How do I know if I’m working around it?

  • Answer: Any structure build before 1985 must have an asbestos building survey performed and the contractor have a copy of it on hand. (and while the inspector is onsite they might as well check for lead (Pb)).

So what type of training do I need?

  • Answer: It depends. Either Class III or Class IV Training is required by OSHA (see earlier post).

We subcontract any asbestos work, and typically it’s already abated before we arrive onsite. Do we still need training?

  • Answer: Yes. OSHA does not define any training shorter (less involved) than Class IV (which is 2 hours). And, what I commonly see is that employers don’t train their employees, they find asbestos, disturb it and then get in trouble.

Any advice for how our company can avoid getting in these situations?

  • Answer: Train your office staff before you actually train your hands-on employees. If your estimators, project managers, superintendents and vice presidents know what to look for before bidding a job, then everyone has time to prepare and get the proper surveys, documentation, assistance, and training.