OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
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 reducing costs."
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 said.
The system uses hypertext, which allows a user to call up additional information on any highlighted word or phrase in the text.
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.
|OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
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