Asbestos Training and Work Practice Standards Published by EPA
In 1994, the EPA published revised rules that extended accredited training requirements to personnel inspecting or performing asbestos response actions (abatement) in public and commercial buildings (except single family and fewer than 10 unit multifamily residential buildings).
Inspector, supervisor, project designer, and abatement worker courses and refresher courses must be accredited by EPA.
Inspection means an activity undertaken to determine the presence or location, or to assess the condition, of friable or non-friable asbestos-containing material (ACBM) or suspected ACBM, whether by visual or physical examination, or by collecting samples of such material.
Response action means a method, including removal, encapsulation, enclosure, repair, and operations and maintenance, that protects human health and the environment from friable ACBM. Small maintenance related projects are exempted if limited to small quantities, a single glove bag, a single mini-enclosure or minor repair that does not require removal.
Although inspections are not mandated by the rules, when performed inspections must be conducted only by EPA-certified inspectors.
Additionally, the EPA under other rules requires that a facility be inspected for all asbestos-containing materials prior to any renovation or demolition.
Overview of OSHA Standards
In 1994, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) made major changes to both the General Industry 29CFR1910.1001 and the Construction Standard 29CFR1926.1101.
Neither standard requires inspection for asbestos-containing material (ACM). However, both require employers and building owners to treat installed thermal system insulation (TSI) and surfacing materials as ACM in buildings constructed prior to 1980. These materials are designated as "Presumed ACM or PACM". Asphalt and vinyl flooring material in these building must also be treated as ACM and are designated "assumed ACM". In addition, building and facility owners must determine the presence, location, and quantity of ACM and/or PACM at the work site.
General Industry- Building and facility owners are required to inform employers of employees, and employers are required to inform employees who perform housekeeping activities in areas that contain ACM and/or PACM of the presence and location of the ACM and/or PACM.
Construction (Includes repair, maintenance or renovation)- Building owners and/or facility owners are required to notify:
General Industry- The employer is required to provide, at no cost to the employees, who perform housekeeping operations in an area that contains ACM or PACM, an asbestos awareness training course. Each employee must be trained at least once a year. There are specific housekeeping requirements for the care of asbestos-containing flooring materials.
Construction (Includes repair, maintenance or renovation)- The employer is required to provide:
Two hours of awareness training to maintenance and custodial personnel who perform activities where employees contact but do not disturb ACM or PACM and activities performed to clean up dust, waste and debris resulting from repair and maintenance operations. This training is required annually.
Two days of operations and maintenance training where ACM, including TSI and surfacing ACM and PACM, is likely to be disturbed.
Each employer who has a work place or operation covered by the standard is to initially determine if any employee may be exposed to asbestos at or above the Permissible Exposure Limit.
Ohio requires licensure of all persons performing asbestos abatement projects where more than 50 square feet or 50 linear feet of friable asbestos is involved and for all asbestos inspections.
Work in single family and residential apartment buildings of fewer than ten units are exempt from any licensing requirement. Kentucky requires licensure of contractors who perform friable asbestos abatement projects where more than 160 square feet, 260 linear feet or 35 cubic feet of asbestos is involved. Kentucky also requires licensing for all abatement personnel, where more than 3 square feet, 3 linear feet or 0.5 cubic feet of friable asbestos is removed. Although all inspectors and management planners must be licensed, there is no requirement for a management planner for non-school facilities.