News Release USDL: 95-462
Wednesday, November 8, 1995
Contact: Frank Kane, (202) 219-8151
Technical Information: Edward Stern, (202) 219-7283
OSHA Provides Interactive Computer Software For Worksite
Compliance With Asbestos Protection
Computer software is now available to provide employers
expert, customized guidance on compliance with Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) asbestos standards.
The OSHA ASBESTOS ADVISOR, interactive computer software
that can provide building owners, contractors, consultants and
others with quick answers to technical questions about complying
with the standards, is available free of charge from the
Department of Labor electronic bulletin board, LABOR NEWS, and
the Compliance Assistance Section of the OSHA home page on the
internet World Wide Web.
"This powerful new tool is another example of how OSHA is
using technology to make compliance with worker protections
easier," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational
Safety and Health Joseph A. Dear. "Not only will it improve
compliance, but it should be a great help to employers in
Dear expressed appreciation to a number of stakeholder
groups that helped OSHA develop the ASBESTOS ADVISOR.
These included the Safe Buildings Alliance, the Building Owners
and Managers Association, the National Apartment Association, the
Institute for Real Estate Management, the Shopping Center Council
and the Center to Protect Workers' Rights.
In addition to being on the internet, the ASBESTOS ADVISOR
will be added to the next edition of OSHA's CD-ROM, which
contains a wealth of other information about OSHA activities, and
can be purchased through the Government Printing Office (GPO).
The CD-ROM has an order number of S/N 729-013-00000-5, costs $79
per year ($98.75 foreign) with a single copy at $28 ($35
foreign), and can be ordered from GPO by phone (202) 512-1800 or
fax (202) 512-2250.
Edward Stern, of OSHA's Office of Regulatory Analysis, who
coordinated development of the ASBESTOS ADVISOR, noted that the
risk of occupational exposure to asbestos is greater in some
circumstances than others. OSHA, therefore, adopted regulations
covering a wide range of work practices. Many parts of the rules
do not apply to everyone.
"You need to know what parts of the standards apply to your
particular situation. To know that is to have expertise and the
ASBESTOS ADVISOR provides it," Stern said.
When installed on a personal computer, the ADVISOR
interviews the user about his or her business, what buildings and
worksites are involved and the work that will be performed. The
ADVISOR's written guidance depends on the user's responses. The
system enables the user to find out quickly what has to be done
to protect the workers against hazards of asbestos exposure in
his or her work situation.
"In other words, you get customized advice. You can even
develop your own customized glossary of technical terms," Stern
The system uses hypertext, which allows a user to call up
additional information on any highlighted word or phrase in the
In addition to valuable comments from the stakeholder
groups, OSHA received helpful feedback from users of a public
test version of the ASBESTOS ADVISOR made available on the OSHA
World Wide Web site and the DOL electronic bulletin board.