When it comes to managing a commercial property, it’s important to understand the responsibility you have for the property and those on it, be it your employees for business owners or your tenants – either businesses or individuals – as a property owner and manager. One of these is to make sure your property is free of hazards to those who live, work, or move through it. When it comes to the presence of asbestos in commercial properties, you must be aware of it and take certain measures to deal with it in various circumstances.
Detecting and Dealing with Asbestos
Whenever asbestos is detected on your property, it’s vital you perform due diligence. It’s important to identify and deal with the presences of asbestos through several steps:
- Monitor Your Buildings for Asbestos: It’s important to be proactive as asbestos’s biggest danger is when it’s undiscovered for years. Know where in commercial buildings asbestos is most common, and watch out for health warning signs of those who live there.
- Get an Asbestos Inspection: If you think you’ve found signs of asbestos or have concerns for your employers or tenants, get an inspection done.
- Decide on Containment or Removal: Once asbestos has been detected, consult with an asbestos remediation company on the best course of action – either removal or encapsulation depending on the situation.
The Rules and Regulations of Asbestos in Commercial Buildings
Certain federal acts and regulations come from the EPA come into effect in certain circumstances, especially during projects where asbestos exposure is particularly high.
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants
Also known as NESHAP, this set of EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requirements for the inspection and removal of asbestos by certified contractors before renovation or demolition of buildings. NESHAP applies to most buildings, with only individual residential buildings being exempt.
Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
Part of the EPA’s Toxic Substance Control Act, AHERA was an additional section added on in 1986, legislation focusing on creating standards for asbestos identifications and abatement. While initially just for school, AHERA has been expanded on to extend to general contractors and asbestos abatement. It’s important that any contractors you work with are accredited under AHERA.
Operations and Maintenance Guidance
The O&M is a guidance program provided by the EPA to assist business owners and managers on how to manage asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in their buildings. This includes how to develop and maintain an operations and maintenance plan (training, cleaning, work practices, and surveillance). Learn more about it on the EPA’s website: Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Guidance Program.
It’s important to keep your commercial and industrial buildings free of asbestos for the health of all concerned, with all the rules and regulations that entails. If you have concerns about asbestos in your workplace, contact Fiber Control, Inc. We’re asbestos remediation specialists serving Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and we’re here to help.