The "A" Word

Chris Stites, Safety Engineering & Claims Management

August, 2015

The verdict on the dangers of asbestos is in, and we have known about it for some time now. There is no disputing the fact that poorly managed materials and structures containing asbestos is a health hazard. Public and private entities throughout the country must comply with strict building codes and environmental laws in order to deal with remaining asbestos containing materials.

For example, the Federal government has passed a myriad of regulations and standards to which we have to comply:

The State of Tennessee has turned up its efforts on the enforcement of these regulations. In the past year, we have seen an increase in asbestos audits from the state level.

To help prepare you for such an audit, the following information may be useful:

The EPA requires public school districts and private non-profit schools to appoint an asbestos management coordinator, called the "AHERA Designated Person." This person is responsible for a number of asbestos-related activities, including the implementation of the plan for managing asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) in the school buildings and compliance with the federal asbestos regulations.

Asbestos Certification Providers

The Designated Person must assure that all maintenance and custodial staff who may work in a building that contains ACBM receive a minimum of two hours awareness training, whether or not they are required to work with ACBM. Staff that may disturb ACBM must receive an additional 14 hours of training.

We highly recommend all maintenance managers/ supervisors successfully complete EPA- or State-approved courses. This includes receiving accreditation by passing an exam which should be done before they perform any asbestos-related activities. All accredited staff should then complete annual EPA- or State-approved refresher courses to maintain their accreditation.

The increase in audit potential has driven the preparation of this article. Please do not underestimate the seriousness of an awareness program for asbestos related hazards.

Call your loss control consultant with questions on this or any other safety topic:

East TN:
Jason Baggett - (865) 850-4995

Middle TN:
Chris Stites - (615) 289-4101

West TN:
Mark Bilyeu - (615) 210-7827