Asbestos Monitoring & Regulated Areas
OSHA requires employers to perform initial monitoring for each job classification to determine the airborne concentrations of asbestos to which employees may be exposed. If exposures exceed the TWA permissible exposure limit and/or excursion limit, periodic monitoring must be conducted at intervals no greater than every six months.
If either initial or periodic monitoring indicates that employee exposures are below the TWA permissible exposure limit and/or excursion limit, monitoring can be stopped for those employees whose exposures are represented by such monitoring. The employer must initiate monitoring whenever there has been a change in the production, process, control equipment, personnel or work practices that may result in new or additional exposures to asbestos.
Monitoring should also occur when the employer has any reason to suspect that a change may result in new or additional exposures above the PEL. Employees must be notified of the results of asbestos monitoring, in writing, either individually or by a posted notice, within 15 working days after receiving the test results.
Covered employers have to establish a regulated area(s) where airborne concentrations of asbestos exceed the permissible exposure limit (PEL). Only authorized personnel may be allowed enter regulated areas and they must use respirators. No smoking, eating, drinking, chewing tobacco or gum, or applying cosmetics is permitted in regulated areas. Warning signs have to be displayed at each regulated area and must be posted at all approaches to regulated areas.
Employers must ensure that employees working in and around regulated areas comprehend the warning signs. Methods to ensure employee comprehension may include the use of languages other than English, pictographs, and graphics. These signs must contain the following information:
Warning labels have to be placed on all raw materials, mixtures, scrap, waste, debris, and other products containing asbestos fibers. The label must include the following information:
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