Last week, our blog post focused on in-house management programs and their common issues. The first blog post focused on medical monitoring. Medical monitoring is not the only issue that in-house programs face.
Another common deficiency of in-house asbestos maintenance programs is that part of the training requirements for maintenance and housekeeping staff is ignored. AHERA for schools and OSHA, which regulates all employees, have the same requirements. Both rules state that trainees should be told where the asbestos is in the buildings and areas where they work. The generic topical training can be performed in large groups or in generic on-line or video formats. It is no surprise that the time-consuming step of informing staff of locations of asbestos where they work remains undone. The training deficiency is not just a violation of the regulations. A serious consequence is that employees can inadvertently disturb asbestos containing materials if they are not informed of their locations. A disturbance can result in expensive clean-up, damaged employee, occupant, and public relations, and, in rare instances, exposure lawsuits.
META Environmental has developed a strategy to address this issue. Our on-line or in-person 2 hour training can be supplemented with a module showing asbestos locations in the facility. There are several advantages of using an on-line module. The first is that each trainee must document an understanding of the content of the module, in this case answering specific questions about the location of the asbestos containing building materials in their building.
This documentation is valuable for the employer to confirm employee comprehension if needed for a response; if their program is challenged. Secondly, it facilitates compliance when new staff is hired and when existing staff is moved to a new area. Compliance during these transitional times is easily overlooked. Additionally, the custom modules give employers a potential tool to communicate and emphasize their unique priorities and procedures.
Communication of asbestos locations as part of training is just one part of the communication process. OSHA requires warning labels of installed asbestos when feasible, and/or a sign in routine maintenance areas indicating where asbestos is in the building and how to avoid disturbing it. AHERA goes one step further by requiring public access to the management plan, which includes inspection results for the interior space of the building.
To ensure that your in-house management program is doing all that they can, contact META. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 785-842-6382!