Types of Occupations That are Exposed to Asbestos Dust: A Quick Guide for the Public
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral containing six regulated forms: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, actinolite, and tremolite. The Greek word asbestos means unquenchable. It was once commonly used in construction because it is strong and resistant to fire. However, it has been found that asbestos can cause serious health problems, including cancer, when breathed in. As a result, asbestos has been prohibited in many countries. Despite this, some buildings contain asbestos, and people who work with asbestos are at risk of exposure. Today, we will discuss the OSHA regulations relate specifically to asbestos in the workplace and the occupations with asbestos risk.
Asbestos is a well-known health hazard, and OSHA and EPA strictly control its usage. OSHA standards for the construction sector, general industry, and shipyard employment branches cover worker exposure to asbestos risks. These rules mandate that employers offer personal exposure monitoring to assess the risk and ensure hazard awareness among operations with potential asbestos exposure. Levels of asbestos in the air are never to exceed OSHA workplace exposure limits. There is no safe level of asbestos contact for any asbestos fiber.
High-risk asbestos occupations include mining, manufacturing, and working with asbestos products. Workers who operate or maintain industrial boilers and pressure vessels are frequently exposed to high quantities of asbestos, resulting in severe health issues like mesothelioma and asbestosis. Building inspectors, excavators, floor coverers, painters, road construction workers, tile setters, sawyers, contractors, and building managers are among the most hazardous professions. When fighting fires or natural disasters, firefighters are also at risk of asbestos exposure. Factory workers, power plant workers, shipyard workers, steel mill workers, and textile mill workers are also at high risk for asbestos exposure.
The medium risks asbestos occupations are brake mechanics, blacksmiths, carpenters, cement plant workers, chemical plant workers, electricians, engineers, HVAC mechanics, insulators, linotype technicians, metal workers, oil refinery workers, plumbers, railroad workers, etc.
Some occupations with a low risk of asbestos exposure include aerospace workers, aircraft mechanics, appliance installers, bakers, chimney sweeps, hairdressers, teachers, and toll collectors. Warehouse workers may also be at low risk for exposure because of asbestos in many old buildings. While the concentration of asbestos fibers may be typical in these occupations, there is still a possibility for exposure and subsequent development of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. It is vital to avoid exposure, such as wearing proper protective gear and working in well-ventilated areas. If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos, it is vital to see a doctor and get tested for mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.
You can do many things to protect yourself from asbestos exposure when working with it, including following all safety regulations and using personal protective equipment. It is vital to keep asbestos-containing materials wet when working with them, as this helps reduce the risk of exposure. It would be best to avoid dry sweeping or using compressed air to clean up asbestos materials, as this can release asbestos fibers into the air. If you must work with asbestos-containing materials, work in a well-ventilated area. Finally, shower and wash your clothes after working with asbestos-containing materials to remove any fibers on your body.
It is clear that asbestos still causes many health problems and illnesses, which can be fatal. Despite this, the material is not banned in all countries and continues to be used in construction, among other applications. It puts people’s lives at risk, and it is vital to spread awareness about the dangers of asbestos so that more people know how to protect themselves from its harmful effects.