Use our free asbestos risk assessment templates to comply with important safety regulations.
This template is used to carry out an asbestos inspection on premises. Further action will be taken on the basis of the results.Download template
Use the asbestos inspection report form to ensure workplace safety. This inspection is part of building maintenance and belongs in every project plan.Download template
Use this template to assess all the risks to people and the environment associated with the removal of asbestos before starting work and to take protective measures.Download template
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The naturally occurring mineral group asbestos is one of the substances that are hazardous to health. It is various types of silicate minerals that formed from volcanic serpentine rock within hundreds of thousands of years. Fibers several centimeters long bundled together to form veins, which were subsequently deposited in the upper layers of the earth. Because of its resilience, it was readily used in the construction industry, unaware of the healthy side effects.
When asbestos dust or fibers enter the airspace through various exposures, they enter the lungs through the respiratory tract. The approximately bacteria-sized pieces can hardly be broken down by human bodies. Depending on how much is absorbed, diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, cancer of the abdomen and pleura, ovarian cancer, and pleural effusion and plaques can occur.
Employers are required by law to inspect the workplace for health risks and inform employees about them as well as protect against them whenever possible. Therefore, it is advisable for companies that suspect that asbestos has been processed in their buildings to carry out asbestos testing to obtain certainty. In the construction and real estate industry, it is common practice to conduct asbestos inspections prior to sales or renovation and repair work if the buildings were constructed or renovated or modernized between 1950 and 1990. Such inspection must also take into account the fact that asbestos was used differently during certain periods.
The asbestos inspection checklist does not replace asbestos testing, this must always be done via an indoor air test and material test. However, the asbestos inspection checklist increases the security for the correct execution of the testing process. In this way, all important steps can be checked off and documented, and signed off by the responsible inspector. In addition to inspection, asbestos inspection checklists are also used in risk assessment for handling and disposal of hazardous material. On construction sites, asbestos safety briefings can also be conducted with a checklist.
Employers must take all possible precautions to ensure protection from asbestos in the workplace. The following 3 steps can provide guidance to adequately protect workers from the health hazards of asbestos:
There are different test methods that can be used to detect asbestos. They should be part of an asbestos inspection. Since asbestos in most products is not recognizable for laymen, only an asbestos test can bring certainty. Two types are distinguished: the material test and the room air test. Corresponding kits for both tests are available from specialized suppliers. Usually, such a kit contains a tube for sample collection, step-by-step instructions, a data entry sheet, and a labeled box to send in the samples for analysis. The cost depends on how detailed you want the asbestos analysis to be.
For the room air analysis, use the tube to collect during your asbestos inspection a dust sample from the room where you suspect asbestos is present. Complete the enclosed data entry form in full. Then send the sample and document by mail to the specialist laboratory indicated on the label. The laboratory analyzes the dust for harmful substances. You will receive the test report within 5 to 10 working days by mail or for download via the laboratory's website.
For the material test, you put during your asbestos inspection a small piece of the building material you suspect contains asbestos into the tube. Again, you document everything in the data entry form and send the document and sample to the lab. The asbestos analysis with solids also takes 5 to 10 business days.
The asbestos testing with the material sample is not harmless, because when you take a sample, the dangerous asbestos fibers are released. Because it may be necessary for you to process the affected building material to take a sample. Therefore, it is recommended that such a test is carried out by a specialist. This person has the necessary protective equipment and expertise. A dust sample test is much less dangerous but does not provide accurate information about where the asbestos fiber comes from.
Employers and safety officers must implement and enforce occupational health and safety measures to minimize the risks of asbestos exposure to workers. Proactively conducting an asbestos risk assessment and removing them when necessary requires a great deal of effort and documentation.
Lumiform, the powerful and mobile app for inspections and audits helps to proactively identify and document risks and safety issues. With the Lumiform app and desktop software, you'll be able to: