If the plant manager thinks that a material contains asbestos, and the material must be banned, rubbed, handled, or taken apart, he/she should hire a trained, asbestos-removal contractor before taking any risky action. In order to determine the experience and skill of a prospective asbestos-removal contractor, the contractor should be asked these questions:

1. Is the contractor certified? (Ask to see the certificate).

2. Have the contractor and the contractor's workers been trained?

3. Does the contractor have experience of removing asbestos from buildings?

4. Will the contractor provide a list of references from people for whom he/she has worked with asbestos?

5. Will the contractor provide a list of places where he/she has worked with asbestos?

6. Will the contractor use the "wet method" (water and detergent)?

7. Will the contractor use polyethylene plastic barriers to contain dust?

8. Will the contractor use a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter vacuum cleaner?

9. Will the contractor's workers wear approved respirators?

10. Will the contractor properly dispose of the asbestos and leave the site free of asbestos dust and debris?

11. Will the contractor provide a written contract specifying these procedures?

The plant manager or the owner of an industrial site must make sure to hire a certified, trained, and experienced asbestos contractor who follows the following General

Guidelines for Handling Products Containing Asbestos established by the U.S. Consumer

Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Environmental Production Agency [22]:

1. The contractor should seal off the work area from the rest of the residence and close off the heating/air conditioning system. Plastic sheeting and duct tape may be used, which can be carefully sealed with tape when work is complete. The contractor should take great care not to track asbestos dust into other areas of the residence.

2. The work site should be clearly marked as a hazard area. Only workers wearing disposable protective clothing should have access. Household members and their pets should not enter the area until work is completed and inspected.

3. During the removal of asbestos-containing material, workers should wear approved respirators appropriate for the specific asbestos activity. Workers should also wear gloves, hats, and other protective clothing. The contractor should properly dispose of all of this equipment (along with the asbestos material) immediately after using it.

4. The contractor should wet the asbestos-containing material with a hand sprayer. The sprayer should provide a fine mist, and the material should be thoroughly dampened, but not dripping wet. Wet fibers do not float in the air as readily as dry fibers and will be easier to clean up. The contractor should add a small amount of a low sudsing dish or laundry detergent to improve the penetration of the water into the material and reduce the amount of water needed.

5. The contractor should assure that if asbestos-containing material must be drilled or cut, it is done outside or in a special containment room, with the material wetted first.

6. The contractor should assure that, if the material must be removed, it is not broken into small pieces, as asbestos fibers are more likely to be released. Pipe insulation is usually installed in preformed blocks and should be removed in complete pieces.

7. The contractor should place any material that is removed and any debris from the work in sealed, leak-proof, properly labeled, plastic bags (6 mm thick) and should dispose of them in a proper land-fill. The contractor should comply with Health Department instructions about how to dispose of asbestos-containing material.

8. The contractor should assure that after removal of the asbestos-containing material, the area is thoroughly cleaned with wet mops, wet rags, or sponges. The cleaning procedure should be repeated a second time. Wetting will help reduce the chance that the fibers are spread around. No asbestos material should be tracked into other areas. The contractor should dispose of the mop heads, rags, and sponges in the sealed plastic bags with the removed materials. 9. Plant personnel, if trained but not certified, can perform minor repairs (approximately the size of a hand), taking special precautions regarding dust, sweep, or vacuum particles suspected of containing asbestos. The fibers are so small that they cannot be seen and can pass through normal vacuum cleaner filters and get back into the air. The dust should be removed by a wet-mopping procedure or by specially designed "HEPA" vacuum cleaners used by trained asbestos contractors.

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