Renovating Your Business Location? Important Asbestos Information For Business Owners

Business owners who own or lease a location in an older building should be aware of asbestos and the potential dangers it can have on their employees, customers, and clients, especially when planning renovations. While widely banned for use in construction applications more than four decades ago, many commercial buildings are still in use that were built before the ban, and have not yet undergone the process to have it removed. 

Some of the most commonly used construction materials that were manufactured and used before the asbestos ban include insulation in walls and ceilings, flooring tiles, siding, and insulating materials used to insulate heating and cooling ducts. Business owners who believe their location may contain some form of asbestos can use this information to keep their employees and customers safe while renovations are being done. 

Be aware of asbestos from other sources

Business owners who use or sell materials or components produced in other countries should be aware of the potential for asbestos exposure. Collecting regular samples and submitting them for appropriate testing is a proactive strategy that can help limit employee exposure to asbestos that may come into the workplace from other sources.

Employers whose employees may be at risk for coming into contact with asbestos in the workplace from any source must make sure they use protective equipment while in the building and have access to a staging area where they can shower and change before leaving the premises to return to their families. 

Educate employees and maintenance personnel 

Education about asbestos and the risk it carries is an important part of keeping employees safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) has created helpful guidelines and information that business owners can use to help keep their employees safe. 

Have an asbestos assessment performed to determine risk

Because asbestos is known to become a health threat when the fibers are disturbed and inhaled by people or animals, there are many instances in which it is best to leave existing asbestos materials in place and undisturbed. However, this is only an option is cases where the asbestos can be safely encased in other materials where the fibers will not become airborne, broken, cut, or allowed to come into contact with workers or customers. 

Business owners who are unsure about whether their building has asbestos or those who need help in deciding how to deal with a known presence of asbestos can contact a commercial asbestos abatement service to help them determine how to proceed. 

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