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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

April 5, 1995

The Honorable Strom Thurmond
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Thurmond:

Thank you for your letter of March 6 on behalf of your constituent, Victor Montgomery, expressing concern about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) newly revised asbestos standard as it pertains to roofing. Please accept our apology for the delay in this response.

Numerous workers have contracted cancer and other serious diseases from exposure to asbestos fibers. The revised OSHA standard protects against these diseases by requiring that asbestos-containing materials be handled in a manner that minimizes worker exposure to asbestos fibers. The standard applied to roofing operations because many roofing materials contain asbestos.

OSHA has engaged in productive discussions of the concerns of representatives of the roofing industry, who petitioned for review of the asbestos standards. The resulting settlement agreement is enclosed.

As you might be aware, to allow more time for implementation of compliance with the standards, OSHA has extended the effective date for most provisions to July 10, 1995 (Federal Register 60:9624, February 21, 1995).

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health.

Sincerely,



Joseph A. Dear
Assistant Secretary


Enclosure



November 18, 1994

Mr. Mike Silverstein, Director
Directorate of Policy
Occupational Safety and
Health Administration
Department of Labor,
Room N-3641
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Mr. Silverstein:

Enclosed is a copy correspondence I have recently received from Mr. Victor Montgomery. I believe you will find it self-explanatory.

Your reviewing thin material and providing any assistance or information possible under the governing statutes and regulations will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your attention in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

With kindest regards and best wishes,

Sincerely



Strom Thurmond

Enclosure



October 31, 1994

Senator Strom Thurmond
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Thurmond:

I am writing to you today in opposition to the new OSHA regulations concerning asbestos as it applies to the roofing industry.

There is no evidence anywhere of any asbestos fiber release on roofing projects above OSHA's new permissible exposure limits (PELS).

If one can prove there are no asbestos fibers being released, one must still demarcate the project; limit access to trained workers; wet, HEPA vacuum and containerize all asbestos-containing materials; supervise the project with a trained "competent person"; provide annual medical surveillance; create and maintain records for as long as thirty years; prevent workers from eating, drinking or chewing on the job; put OSHA warning labels on containers of asbestos containing waste, place OSHA warning signs on the roof during the job, and leave OSHA warning placards on the roof where asbestos containing coatings, cements and mastics remain after the job is complete.

Incidental amounts of asbestos are present in the roofing materials on more than half of all buildings in the country, so the regulation has tremendous consequences.

Insurance and bonding requirements may keep many companies from bidding work historically done by roofing contractors; and awarding jobs to asbestos abatement contractors may cause serious scheduling problems.

It is estimated that OSHA regulations will increase costs by an average of eighty-seven (87%) percent and roofing jobs will take far longer to complete in compliance with OSHA's detailed, bureaucratic requirements due to a doubling of the time required to complete the jobs.

It is also estimated by the National Roof Contractors Association that approximately twenty-seven (27%) percent of field workers in the industry will be laid off due to new OSHA regulations.

We need your help!

Senator Thurmond, please intervene with OSHA on the new asbestos regulations as they are making it impossible for roofing companies to operate efficiently due to their mandates.

I shall look forward to your assistance and your reply as to what can be done to reduce or eliminate the unreasonable OSHA interference in our industry.

Very truly yours,

BAKER ROOFING COMPANY, INC.



Victor M. Montgomery
Vice-President




OSHA ALERT - FROM NRCA

Now is the time to communicate your concerns on the OSHA regulations to your elected officials. If you agree that the new asbestos rule is damaging your business, please let your Senators and Congressman know how it will affect your business and what it will mean in terms of lost jobs. Then ask them to call or write OSHA and ask for an explanation. A summary of points to cover in your correspondence follows. Please copy the association office, and we will forward to NRCA.

Key points for Including in Letters to Elected Officials

1. There is no evidence anywhere of any asbestos fiber release on roofing projects above OSHA's new permissible exposure limits (PELs).

2. Even if you can prove there are no asbestos fibers being released, you must still demarcate the project; limit access to trained workers; wet, HEPA vacuum and containerize asbestos-containing materials; supervise the project with a trained "competent person"; provide annual medical surveillance; create records and maintain them for as long as thirty years; prevent workers from eating, drinking or chewing on the job; put OSHA warning labels on containers of asbestos-containing waste, place OSHA warning signs on the roof during the job, and leave OSHA warning placards on the roof where asbestos-containing coatings, cements and mastics remain after the job.

3. Incidental amounts of asbestos are present in the roofing materials on more than half of all buildings, and more than 90 percent of all homes in the country, so the regulation has tremendous consequences.

4. Insurance and bonding requirements may keep you from bidding work historically done by roofing contractors; and awarding jobs to asbestos abatement contractors may cause serious scheduling problems.

5. Your cost will increase dramatically (NRCA members report an average increase of 87 percent), and roofing jobs will take far longer to complete in compliance with OSHA's detailed, bureaucratic requirements (NRCA members anticipate at least a doubling in job time). Building owners, including homeowners, will bear the burden of these increased costs and delays, and property values are likely to decline.

6. You may be forced to lay off workers. (NRCA members report an average of 27 percent of field workers.)

7. You need help. Ask your Senators or representatives to intervene with OSHA on your behalf.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.


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