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As Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2016 continues, we want to focus on the individuals who are often subjected to exposure for years on end. Those that work or have worked with and around asbestos are at serious risk for an asbestos-related diagnosis in their lifetime.
Do you work in a blue collar trade at risk for asbestos exposure on the job? Today workers, like automobile mechanics, construction workers, and teachers, are some of those most likely to be diagnosed with a disease like mesothelioma. Employers are required to keep employees safe on the job. Let's look at a few ways that employers can prevent asbestos exposure among workers:
Risk and Hazard Awareness Training
Workers should be trained in asbestos risk and hazard awareness for operations where there is any potential for exposure to the substance. Identifying materials and products that contain asbestos and knowing how to deal with them properly is a key way to keep workers safe on the job.
Reduce Airborne Levels of Asbestos
Asbestos is most dangerous when fibers are airborne. It is then that they can be breathed in by workers, and become trapped within their lungs, abdomen, or other parts of the body. Establishing regulated areas, controlling certain work practices, and instituting engineering controls to reduce airborne asbestos levels is suggested by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Provide Personal Protective Equipment
Providing personal protective equipment for workers will also help prevent exposure at work.
The U.S. Department of Labor states that "every occupational exposure to asbestos can cause injury of disease." In order to keep workers as safe as possible while on the job, employers must take these and other special precautions to ensure unnecessary exposure does not take place.
Can you think of any other ways to keep workers safe on the job? Please share your thoughts within a comment below!