Unlike other materials found in one’s home, asbestos is quite unique. It is nothing like drywall or insulation, being one of the foremost causes of both non-cancerous and cancerous health problems if disturbed or damaged in any way or form.
Being in contact with a building built with this material is not dangerous in itself. It is once these building materials are disturbed and aggravated (i.e. due to construction) that these materials become active.
This is why you should always contact a reliable source for asbestos removal if you plan to renovate, remodel, and tear down a home built in the mid-1950’s to 1990’s in Australia.
Site location for work may be either domestic or commercial and maybe a demolition site, a new work site or an existing structure being renovated, extended, restored or maintained. Project sites may be construction sites and may also include ships, soils, and fences.
To supervise these activities, one needs to be properly trained in Asbestos Removal both from a functional viewpoint and a supervisory one. Hence, having a qualified designation as an Asbestos Removal Supervisor is crucial in ensuring proper asbestos removal at construction or job sites – both for the safety of those removing it and the overall safety of the premises itself.
Below we look at the 4 key elements that entail the process of Asbestos Removal and its successful Supervision:
1 The process of asbestos removal is intricately regulated throughout Australia, which means that supervisors and professionals who provide the service must wear the required protective gear, which also includes respirators. Moreover, the requirements also entail following strict rules when it comes to inspections, removal and the eventual disposal of asbestos.
Asbestos removal is not something that you as the homeowner should handle. This is why a qualified professional who is well trained, experienced and equipped with the right knowledge in Supervising Asbestos Removal is crucial. The level of supervision depends on the size of the area impacted and who will remove the material.
2 One of the most crucial steps is knowing how to hire a fully licensed, bonded, and insured Asbestos Removal company or professional when one needs asbestos removed.
Any areas suspect of asbestos will first be identified by the professional. This includes siding, roofing, insulation, walls, textured paint, popcorn ceilings, artificial gas fireplaces, flooring, attics, vinyl floors and adhesives, tape over the hot water heater or steam pipes, and more.
After the identification process, a sample is tested, which may involve the material being looked at under a microscope or an air test. If the material is in good condition, it can remain or be enclosed. If there is any flaking or damage, it must be removed.
3 For the asbestos removal process, the involved room or area of the house is completely sealed off with industrial-grade plastic to keep people out and fibers from escaping. Further, large sized fans with HEPA filters are installed to the exhaust air from the room. This is done in order to create negative pressure so no fiber cross contaminates other rooms in the home.
The professional then tears out anything that contains asbestos, bags the materials, seals the bags and loads it into a truck or bin. The room is vacuumed, cleaned, and wiped. The contaminated materials are hauled away to a landfill that accepts asbestos. Different provinces and territories may have differing regulations for this, so it’s important that the Asbestos Removal Supervisor has knowledge of this, as well as the removal professionals involved.
4 Once the process of asbestos removal is complete, you are at liberty to continue with your plans for renovation or remodeling. Ultimately, you end up with a safe home that is void of any potential health and physical dangers associated with asbestos.
It is imperative that Asbestos Removal Training and Supervision are a fundamental part of any professional or company working in Asbestos Removal.
Asbestos-containing materials fall into two broad categories: Non-Friable and Friable.
Friable asbestos is found in insulation used around stoves, water pipes, and boilers; spray-on soundproofing and insulation; textured ceilings (popcorn); paints; various coatings; loose fill ceiling and roof insulation; and heat-resistant fabrics.
Disturbance and Health Concerns
Often, asbestos is disturbed doing an improvement, renovation, or demolition project. Drilling, sawing and other standard activities cause asbestos to crumble. If airborne fibres are inhaled, they become lodged in lung tissue. The three primary health concerns include:
- Asbestosis – This chronic lung disease causes significant scarring, leading to breathing difficulty, coughing, and chest pain. If the lungs and heart are over-stressed, cardiac arrest becomes a huge threat.
- Lung Cancer – This risk is intensified for people who smoke.
- Mesothelioma – This is the worst possible outcome. Initially, pleural mesothelioma develops whereby only the covering of the lungs are affected, but this can worsen to peritoneal mesothelioma of the abdomen.
Conclusively, Asbestos Removal is a field of work with great health risks, whereby the safety of both the public, property and asbestos removal professionals is utmost crucial. This necessitates a solid understanding of the asbestos removal process and the intricacies of dynamics involved therein.
It is imperative that all Asbestos Removal professionals and supervisors undergo recognized training through a reputed educational institute. The qualification from such an institution facilitates the gaining of sound practical and actionable knowledge while polishing the key skills and techniques necessary for planning, managing and maintaining effective and safe friable asbestos removal practices.