There are always a lot of questions surrounding health hazards in schools when there are asbestos-containing building materials present. Here are a few facts that the Department of Labor Standards shares with concerned building occupants:
- Yes, there is still asbestos in many schools across the country and in Massachusetts. However, when managed appropriately, the risk to building occupants is minimized.
- In accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule, 40 CFR 763.80 through 763.99 (commonly referred to as AHERA, and implemented in 1987), schools have certain requirements. Such as:
o Designate a contact person.
o Inspect and identify asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in their buildings.
o Prepare management plans and take action to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards.
o Train custodians and maintenance personnel.
o Maintain records pertaining to inspections, periodic surveillance, training, notifications, etc.
o Provide information of the location of ACM or presumed ACM to outside contractors who may come in contact with the material.
- AHERA is designed to allow schools to maintain and manage their ACM in place. Removal of these materials is not usually necessary unless the material is severely damaged or will be disturbed by a building demolition or renovation project.
- No, being in an environment with asbestos-containing materials does not mean you will automatically be exposed to health hazards associated with inhaling asbestos fibers.
o Because of its unique properties, asbestos was widely used in a variety of materials – wallboard and joint compound, floor tiles, boiler and pipe insulation, fireproofing and surface coatings, to name a few.
o Asbestos-containing materials do not pose a health hazard as long as the asbestos-containing materials are managed and maintained in good condition.
The Department of Labor Standards has released new documents to support schools, designated persons, and consultants in their efforts to manage asbestos containing materials. You can find them on our website at www.mass.gov/dols/AHERA
Baker Administration Cabinet secretaries look to replicate job training model posted on Jul 3
SPRINGFIELD, JUNE 30, 2015…. It is nearly impossible to talk about manufacturing without the topic very quickly turning to workforce development, and the difficulty manufacturers have finding skilled workers. A group of manufacturers in the Pioneer Valley this week described to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, …Continue Reading Baker Administration Cabinet secretaries look to replicate job training model
Governor Baker and Secretary Walker highlight opportunity to revamp workforce system posted on Jun 23
WORCESTER, MA, JUNE 19, 2015…The federal government has given states new flexibility to design their own workforce development systems, which gives Massachusetts the ability to customize skill-building programs in regions around the state, Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday. Gov. Baker met with a group of …Continue Reading Governor Baker and Secretary Walker highlight opportunity to revamp workforce system
New Director of Labor Standards posted on Jun 5
The Department of Labor Standards welcomed its new director this week, Bill McKinney. McKinney brings extensive experience in state government, having worked in senior leadership roles. He served as the last commissioner of the former Metropolitan District Commission, which is now a part of the …Continue Reading New Director of Labor Standards