Safety precautions for asbestos removal

Asbestos removal is an essential yet dangerous process. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can expose workers or residents to life-threatening illnesses such as mesothelioma or lung disease. It is, therefore, necessary to follow the guide below to ensure safety during and after asbestos removal:

Preparation of the area

Before asbestos removal, it is vital to prepare the area designated as containing asbestos materials. This includes identifying the area as a hazard zone. The next step is to seal off the windows with plastic sheets to prevent transmission of asbestos particles. The flooring and carpeting of the house will also require protection to avoid exposure. All other furniture in the home should be removed and safely stored offsite.

Protective clothing

Any asbestos removal company has its safety procedures to ensure the safety of their workers and to prevent contamination of the area. Workers should wear seal-proof suits that can be worn over shoes. Other protective clothing includes items such as gloves, goggles and boots. A respiratory mask is also necessary to prevent inhalation of the asbestos particles. These masks are disposable and should only be used once to avoid the spread of asbestos fibres.

Removal procedures

Asbestos-containing materials are very fragile, and they should not be disturbed. This means equipment such as power tools cannot be used as they create a lot of dust and disperse the asbestos fibres. Other equipment such as pressure hoses, sanding tools and drills should also be avoided, as they are abrasive.

It is also advisable to keep asbestos materials wet to prevent dispersal of any fibres. You can keep the asbestos moist by using a solution of water and polyvinyl acetate. The asbestos should remain wet until ready for transport.

Note that any dust created from the removal process should not be swept up but instead removed using a vacuum or damp rug.

Disposal procedures

Any protective equipment and debris accumulated should be disposed of properly every day. Asbestos materials should be bagged and sealed in heavy-duty rubbish bags. It is essential to wear protective equipment as you bag up the asbestos waste. Workers should shower at the end of every workday before changing into their regular clothes.

The company you hire for removal is responsible for asbestos disposal. If you opt for DIY removal, which is not advisable, you must look for a disposal facility. If you dispose of the waste unlawfully, you will be fined.