- Safety and Health Topics
Asbestos hazards are addressed in specific standards for general industry, shipyard employment and construction. This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to asbestos in construction.
Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)
|Subpart Z – Toxic and Hazardous Substances||1926.1101, Asbestos|
For information on state or other standards, see the Asbestos - Standards page.
National Consensus Standards
Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
- ASTM E1368, Standard Practice for Visual Inspection of Asbestos Abatement Projects. Establishes accepted practices for evaluating asbestos abatement projects.
- ASTM E2356, Standard Practice for Comprehensive Building Asbestos Surveys. This practice describes procedures for conducting comprehensive surveys of buildings and facilities for the purpose of locating, identifying, quantifying, and assessing asbestos-containing materials.
- ASTM E2394, Standard Practice for Maintenance, Renovation and Repair of Installed Asbestos Cement Products. This practice describes work practices for asbestos-cement products when maintenance, renovation, and repair are required. This includes common tasks such as drilling and cutting holes in roofing, siding, pipes, etc. that can result in exposure to asbestos fibers if not done carefully.
- Asbestos Standard for the Construction Industry (PDF). OSHA Publication 3096, (Revised 2002). Provides OSHA guidelines for asbestos in construction.
- Potential Asbestos Contamination in Soft Concrete. Hazard Information Bulletin (HIB), (October 8, 1998). Alerts construction workers and employers to the hazard posed by "soft concrete", a mixture of asbestos/concrete, that was used as a 2 to 10 inch roofing layer.
Evaluating and Controlling Exposure
- The Asbestos Advisor. OSHA Expert Systems. Provides interactive compliance assistance. Once installed on your PC, it can interview you about buildings and worksites, and the kinds of tasks workers perform there. It will produce guidance on how the Asbestos Standard may apply to those buildings.
Medical surveillance guidance is provided in the following appendix to the OSHA Standards:
- 29 CFR 1926.1101 - Appendix D, Medical questionnaires; Mandatory.
Exposure monitoring samples must be analyzed by Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) for OSHA purposes. PCM methods accurately assess fiber exposure levels, but PCM can not differentiate between asbestos and non-asbestos fibers. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) methods may be used to identify fibers, but may not be used to quantify air concentrations for occupational exposure.
- OSHA reference method - Mandatory. OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1926.1101 Appendix A.
- Sampling and analysis - Non-mandatory. OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1926.1101 Appendix B.
Bulk sample analysis
Bulk sample analysis should be done by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM). Bulk analysis results will likely apply to both OSHA and EPA regulations.
- Polarized Light Microscopy of Asbestos. OSHA Method ID-191, (December 1992). Describes the collection and analysis of asbestos bulk materials by light microscopy techniques including phase-polar illumination and central-stop dispersion microscopy.
- Polarized Light Microscopy of Asbestos - Non-mandatory. OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1926.1101 Appendix K.
- Work practices and engineering controls for class I asbestos operations - Non-mandatory. OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1926.1101 Appendix F. Offers work practices and engineering controls for asbestos removal.
- Asbestos NESHAP Adequately Wet Guidance. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), (December 1990). Emphasizes the need for proper wetting of asbestos-containing material prior to removal.
- Asbestos NESHAP - Renovation and Demolition of Buildings. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Summarizes EPA-accepted work practices.
Related Safety and Health Topics Pages
- 29 CFR 1926.1101 - OSHA's Asbestos Standard for the Construction Industry. OSHA Slide Presentation.
- Significant Issues Addressed by the Construction Standard 29 CFR 1926.1101. OSHA.
- Construction. OSHA's Alliance Program. This is one of OSHA's Strategic Management Plan Focus Areas.