Things a worker in material containing asbestos (MCA) field should know
Occupations that can expose you to asbestos
People must have prior knowledge of the type of jobs related to materials containing asbestos. Many occupations can put a person at risk of contracting diseases associated with asbestos. Working in a place exposed to asbestos doesn’t affect the individual only and those living around him/her. You can carry asbestos on your clothes, and if a family member comes into contact with it, they can inhale the fiber materials. It can put them at risk of contracting diseases such as asbestosis and lung cancer which are caused by inhaling asbestos fiber materials. Some of these occupations include the following:
Construction workers – Most of these workers deal with buildings by constructing, demolishing, refurbishing, or repairing them. The activities can disturb materials containing asbestos and result in the release of fibers in the air, which the workers can inhale.
Drywall Tapers – Tapers are at risk of inhaling asbestos because drywall has components of asbestos; thus, it’s lightweight.
Civil Engineers – It is an occupation related to construction and building structures. They are at risk if they come into contact with materials containing asbestos in the fields.
Bricks and Stone Masons – Some stones made with asbestos, and activities like drilling, scraping and breaking them expose you to these materials.
Boilermakers – Things like water heaters have insulators made from asbestos, and working with such appliances can put you at risk of getting an asbestos-related disease.
Auto Mechanics – Automobile parts such as clutches and brake pads have asbestos as part of their composition. Workers fixing and repairing vehicles are at risk of inhaling asbestos.
Bulldozer Operators – They are involved in the demolition of old buildings that might contain house appliances containing asbestos. It can put them at risk of inhaling fibers containing asbestos.
Which protective gears should people work with asbestos use?
It doesn’t matter whether you are working with asbestos, taking an asbestos survey and doing asbestos testing. Every employer should wear appropriate respirator and personal protective equipment (PPE) clothing. The protective clothing should be of a material that cannot allow asbestos fibers to penetrate. It should also cover the head and body entirely, be repaired if torn, and have appropriate footwear. Respirators should adequately fit the worker, be cleaned and disinfected regularly, repaired and inspected before use, and stored in a clean place. Using and maintaining the respirators should be according to the procedures given.
Best practices to apply while working with asbestos.
Avoid eating and drinking within premises containing asbestos.
Disinfect your protective clothing, wash your hands and face before leaving your workplace.
Cleaning the work area should be a frequent and regular while and after completion of work.
Cleaning vacuuming barriers and drop sheets used in the workplace should be using a HEPA-filtered vacuum.
There should be no use of compressed air in removing dust and cleaning surfaces.
Reusing of portable enclosures and barriers should not happen unless they are thoroughly clean.
You should use a vacuum installed with a HEPA filter to clean and remove waste and dust.