The evaluation of the degree of urgency of the protective measures in buildings and procedures for the remediation of lightweight panels and asbestos cement sheets. Safe procedures in the preparation and execution of remediation work.
In this articles will address the issues related to the risk of asbestos and the subsequent prevention measures to be implemented, especially in relation to the activities of persons to carry out remediation.
About these issues, Suva - Swiss institute for insurance and accident prevention - has published on its website a number of documents with reference to the assessment of the urgency of remediation of 'asbestos and the adoption of safe practices.
The first document we present, entitled "Asbestos in public and private buildings: degree of urgency of the measures", is published by the Forum Asbestos Switzerland FACH, an information platform on asbestos that aims to raise awareness of asbestos and the dangers inherent in its manipulation.
The document recalls that if a building is present in the material containing asbestos, "we must take appropriate measures to protect the health of the occupants from contamination." This publication serves precisely to assess the urgency of these remediation measures, with reference to the normal intended use of a public or private building. Assessment that must be carried out by qualified and competent personnel.
In particular, it is recalled that the asbestos-containing materials become dangerous when they are released from the material of the fibers which are then inhaled. And the risk for health "depends on the type of material, by the use of local and from the effects of the use of local on the asbestos-containing material."
An assessment of the urgency of protective measures - assessment that must be carried out for each individual room in which asbestos is present - must take place in three stages:
- "Evaluation of the material: in a first stage we evaluate the potential for release of the fibers of asbestos-containing material. We must consider both the state of the surface, is the deterioration of the material due to external factors (air currents, temperature changes etc.).
- Evaluation of the use of the premises: in a second stage, to evaluate the intended use of the room, how often you attended and how asbestos is accessible;
- Definition of the degree of urgency: in this phase are put together the results of the first two points, and from these we deduce the degree of urgency of remediation '.
Now we get into the remediation actions themselves.
We do this through our topic, produced from Suva, entitled "Reclamation of lightweight panels containing asbestos from companies recognized."
This card - which contains a procedure for the removal of surface less than 0.5 m2 for local work - remember that during the removal of asbestos-containing lightweight panels can release large amounts of asbestos fibers and the work must be performed by specialized companies and recognized.
To learn about the requirements in Italy for firms that operate reclamation of goods containing asbestos can consult the website of 'National Association of Environmental Managers.
Returning to the Swiss document, we see the correct procedures relating to the preparation of the work for this specific type of cleaning up:
- "Identify hazards and designing the necessary security measures";
- "Train your staff about the dangers and how to proceed with the work";
- "Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): semifacciale with filter class P3 (filter be thrown away after use, reusable mask after thorough cleaning), disposable coverall Category 3 Type 5/6 with hood (disposable use) , protective overshoes (which are discarded after use), rubber gloves (to wash or dispose of after use);
- "The furniture must be previously removed from the work area; materials that can not be decontaminated must be adequately sealed with a plastic film;
- Must prevent third parties can access the contaminated zone (warning signs);
- To avoid contamination seal each opening to the adjacent rooms. "
Among the equipment necessary work we have:
- "Industrial vacuum cleaner with a filter class H (asbestos);
- Ventilation system (with filters of class H) with a minimum capacity of 500 m3 / h, or a change in the volume of air in the room 10 times an hour (whichever is greater is decisive). " This instead is a list of equipment needed, "plastic bags with the words 'Asbestos'; binders for residual fibers; lambskin roller for the application of binders for residual fibers; tools to remove nails, screws, fasteners , plastic film and adhesive tape to pack the panels, strips of wood to fit under construction panels, foam mat; bags 'glove-bags'. "
For the removal of panels of non-stationary parts of the building, "the moving parts must be carefully lifted from the media and tightly packed immediately." Subsequently, the panel must be removed from the element and disposed of properly.
For the removal of panels on fixed parts of the building, if possible, it is good to use the technique of "glove-bag" ("cell plastic material with inner gloves for the execution of the work").
If the use of glove-bags is not possible, you must proceed as follows:
- "Artificially ventilate the work area;
- Spray the panels with binders for residual fiber products;
- Remove the fasteners (nails, screws, etc..) And store them in a container of the product binder. During this phase you have to suck up the dust at the source. Any damaged parts should be sprayed immediately with assorted binders; prevent the panel from falling;
- Remove the panel and place it gently on the carpet of foam;
- Insert the panel in the bag or wrap in plastic wrap;
- Clean the underlying surface (industrial vacuum / products binders). "
Finally, on the site of Suva is also a board dedicated to the topic "Removing outdoor cement sheets containing asbestos."
Here are the rules to follow on the execution of the work.
For the removal of the plates:
- "Disassembly must be done without destruction (in the reverse order to assembly), not break, sawing or puncture the material, ...";
- "Fasteners such as screws, hooks and nails should be wet with water and then loose;
- If the sheets must be stacked temporarily on the roof, you have to guarantee the application of the latter;
- Be very cautious in laying slabs to prevent breakage. Do not throw them, do not slide them as if it were waste. "
- "Do not smoke or eat in the vicinity of the working area";
- "When removing the disposable coverall make sure that the clothes do not get dirty. Do not take clothing home to that are contaminated with asbestos fibers. Use the sanitary facilities on site. "
Not to mention that, at the end of the work, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the work area and must be disposed of safely and in accordance with applicable regulations.
NOTE: Any references to legislation contained in the original document relating to the Swiss reality, the suggestions can still be of use to all workers.
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