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Every thing you need to know about asbestos in one session

16 March 2024 @ 08H30 - Cost R150

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals known for their heat resistance, strength, and insulating properties. Historically used in construction, automotive parts, and textiles, its fibers can cause lung diseases, including cancer, when inhaled. As a result, its use is now heavily regulated or banned in many countries.

Where do you find asbestos?

Asbestos can be found in older buildings' insulation, roofing, floor tiles, popcorn ceilings, and pipe lagging. It's also in automotive brake pads, clutches, and some vintage appliances. Despite its hazardous nature, its use was widespread before the 1980s due to its durability and resistance to fire and heat.

Is asbestos dangerous?

Yes, asbestos is dangerous. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibers can cause inflammation and scarring, leading to serious health problems, including asbestosis (a lung disease), mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer affecting the lining of the lungs or abdomen), and other lung cancers. The risk of developing these diseases increases with the amount of asbestos exposure and the duration of exposure. Because of these health risks, the use of asbestos has been heavily regulated or banned in many countries.

Who may handle asbestos?

Handling asbestos is highly regulated due to its health risks, and only trained and licensed professionals should do so. These professionals are equipped with specialized knowledge, techniques, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely manage, remove, or encapsulate asbestos-containing materials. Regulations vary by country and region but typically include strict guidelines on training, certification, and methods for safely working with asbestos to prevent airborne fibers. Before any asbestos abatement or removal project, it's essential to engage a certified asbestos removal contractor to ensure compliance with local laws and to safeguard public and worker health.

Asbestos work is divided into 3 types namely,

1. Type 1 - 10m² or less

2. Type 2 - Any compressed or moulded products

3. Type 3 - Any asbestos

Duties of a person being exposed to asbestos

A person exposed to asbestos should promptly seek medical evaluation to assess potential health impacts. It's crucial to inform healthcare providers about the exposure level and duration. Following medical advice, monitoring for symptoms, and potentially participating in health surveillance programs are key steps. Reporting the exposure to relevant workplace safety authorities may also be required.

What is the asbestos clients responsibility?

Asbestos clients, typically property owners or managers, have the responsibility to ensure a safe environment by identifying asbestos-containing materials, managing or removing them safely, and complying with legal requirements. This includes hiring certified professionals for asbestos-related work and informing occupants and workers about the presence of asbestos and any related risks.

The asbestos process

The asbestos management process begins with a thorough survey to identify asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in a property. If ACM is found, a detailed assessment of its condition and potential risk is conducted. Based on this assessment, a management plan is developed, which may include monitoring, encapsulating, or safely removing the asbestos by licensed professionals. During removal, strict safety protocols are followed to prevent fiber release into the air. Afterward, the area is decontaminated, and air quality is tested to ensure safety. The entire process is documented, and compliance with local and national regulations is maintained to protect public health.

Asbestos
Client
Identify
asbestos
Asbestos
present

NO
Asbestos
present

YES
Asbestos free
certificate
Identify
asbestos
Signs 
&
warnings
Asbestos 
assessment
Asbestos management plan

Who may identify asbestos?

© 2021 Asbestos Consulting

A compotent person may identify asbestos. A compotent person is a person who has, in respect of the work or task to be performed, the required knowledge, training and experience and, where appicable qualifications specific to asbestos work or related tasks and is familiar with the Act and the applicable regualtions made under the Act

What is an asbestos assessment?

An asbestos assessment is a thorough examination conducted by certified professionals to determine the presence and condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in a property. It involves visual inspections, material sampling, and laboratory analysis to assess risk and guide management, removal, or remediation plans to ensure safety and regulatory compliance.

What does asbestos encapsualtion means?

Asbestos encapsulation refers to a method of managing asbestos-containing materials (ACM) that are in good condition but could release fibers if disturbed. Instead of removing the asbestos, which can be hazardous and expensive, encapsulation involves covering or sealing the asbestos material with a protective barrier to prevent the release of fibers into the air. This barrier can be a specialized sealant or coating that binds the asbestos fibers together or a rigid material that encloses the asbestos.

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