Asbestos is an extremely dangerous and scary material to work with, which is why OSHA has to be very thorough when determining which contractors are approved to work with varying degrees of asbestos hazards. If a contractor performs asbestos abatement for which they are not qualified, not only are they endangering themselves and their crew but also the surrounding neighbors and environment. Let’s take a look at OSHA’s four classes of asbestos work and their certification requirements.
Class IV Asbestos Work
This is the least hazardous asbestos work and doesn’t require any abatement. Class IV consists of janitorial work when no asbestos-containing materials are disturbed. It’s the responsibility of a Class IV worker to respond to any accidental damage of asbestos materials by reaching out to the appropriate asbestos abatement professionals and taking action to minimize asbestos exposure. Educational requirements for Class IV work include attendance of a two-hour Asbestos Awareness program.
Class III Asbestos Work
Class III asbestos abatement consists of the repair and maintenance of asbestos-containing materials. Rather than outright removing the asbestos, Class III work requires a long-term remediation plan, such as encapsulation. Since asbestos can still be disturbed during maintenance, qualification for Class III work still requires 16 hours of operations and maintenance (O&M) asbestos training.
Class II Asbestos Work
Class II asbestos abatement involves slightly less dangerous work. Class II jobs require the removal of “miscellaneous” materials, which are classified as asbestos-containing materials not consisting of surfacing or thermal system insulation. Common examples include floor and ceiling tiles, roofing shingles, and linoleum, which – if in good condition – are generally non-friable. To qualify for Class II abatement, a contractor needs 32 hours of Asbestos Workers education or 40 hours of education to supervise.
Class I Asbestos Work
OSHA’s asbestos classifications consider Class I asbestos abatement the most hazardous work. This class consists of the removal of thermal system insulation and troweled or spray-on asbestos materials – often found on pipes, ducts, and wall or ceiling plaster. The reason these materials are so dangerous is that they are highly likely to become friable. The same certification requirements for Class II are required for Class I abatement.
Although not equally risky, OSHA’s four classes of asbestos work all require training to work with such hazardous materials. That’s why you must hire qualified experts to handle any asbestos you encounter on your property. At Fiber Control, Inc., we have the proper licensing and qualifications to handle all four classes of asbestos work, along with several other hazardous materials. If you need an experienced team of professionals to perform asbestos abatement, contact us today.