Occupational Health and Safety Asbestos Regulations
Though asbestos manufacturers did their best to hide the truth about their products’ health risks and cover up their negligence, eventually the indisputable medical evidence became clear.
Two governing bodies — the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — have taken on the responsibility of regulating asbestos exposure in the workplace.
The first regulations on asbestos exposure in the workplace came in 1971.
The EPA helped define what materials were considered toxic, and the two agencies together decided on maximum exposure amounts.
Since the initial regulation, OSHA has continued to reduce the maximum allowable concentration of asbestos in the workplace.
Did You Know?
Asbestos Hazard Classifications
OSHA has classified the level of danger for different asbestos-related work activities. Class I jobs are the most dangerous and involve the direct handling of asbestos. Class IV covers custodial and maintenance duties that require dust and debris cleaning.
Because asbestos is still a workplace threat, all workers are encouraged to find out what steps their employers are taking to keep asbestos exposure under control.
It’s up to employers to ensure all workplaces meet the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of asbestos.
They must also regularly monitor airborne asbestos levels to make sure they don’t exceed the set limits. Construction and shipyard industries, for instance, both have specific requirements to control airborne asbestos limits.
All workers should be aware of their rights to a healthy and safe work environment.
Were You Exposed to Asbestos?
Thousands came into contact with asbestos on a regular basis. Get a free legal case review to find out if you may have been exposed.
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You are within your rights to ask for copies of workplace hazard test results to ensure your employer is following all regulations. You can also request to see records of any workplace injuries and illnesses.