Asbestos; Being in the know....
5 ASBESTOS RULES FOR BUILDING OWNERS
- Know the regulatory requirements for submission of notification when a demolition or renovation is planned.
2. Know the value of a thorough building inspection.A building inspection will account for any and all building materials impacted by the project. In the case of a renovation, it often serves the owner’s best interest to perform a complete building inspection regardless of project scope.The information contained in a full inspection is applicable to any future renovation or demolition of the building, including basic maintenance activities. A good building inspection will include material quantities, locations, and analytical results. It should also include highlights and references to the pertinent regulations and serve as a quick reference for building owners. 3. …and a good inspector.The value in choosing a good inspector early in the project design process comes from being able to develop solid project specifications, which reduces the potential for change orders and similar hitches in project progress. A good inspector also assists building owners in navigating regulatory requirements during the inspection and notification process, which is particularly important because NESHAP citations are issued to building owners rather than contractors.The inspection required to determine asbestos content and quantity must be performed by a state licensed inspector. 4. Recognize the applicability of OSHA regulations.Although building owners are not responsible for OSHA concerns related to asbestos work activities, owners should recognize the applicability of OSHA regulations. Project specifications should reference appropriate OSHA regulations as well as require contractor compliance.Contractors cannot meet regulatory requirements without appropriate information. A good building inspection not only gives contractors the information to meet those requirements but allows them to submit realistic bids – reducing the potential for change orders. Regulatory visits generally include a request for the building inspection report, and a quality inspection report can be the difference between an easy and a hard regulatory visit. 5. Do not get overwhelmed with the details of asbestos regulations, but achieve a basic understanding of how they work.Building owners do not need to be well-versed in the details of regulations covering asbestos, but they should have a basic understanding of the requirements these regulations place on owners and the methods generally used to achieve compliance.NESHAP requirements should be understood in the context of asbestos use in building materials. It is not true that a building constructed in 1990 (or similar statements) is exempt from asbestos rules; brand new construction may contain ACM building materials. It is only illegal to manufacture asbestos projects in the United States; it is not illegal to import asbestos products. Asbestos is not only a health danger to building occupants and workers in certain situations; it is a danger to building owners financially. The cost of non-compliance with asbestos regulations generally exceeds the cost of compliance, and the cost of compliance goes down with proper planning in advance of the work. For building owners, a third-party inspection and consultation is not an expense but rather an investment. The return on that investment is a confident building owner with a smooth project in full regulatory compliance.