Asbestos exposure poses serious health risks and can be mitigated by wearing asbestos suits and practising safe working with asbestos policies. It is crucial to prioritise safety and minimise exposure to these hazardous fibres, making PPE an essential component of any asbestos-related work.
Asbestos fibres are known to cause lung diseases, including cancer and asbestosis. Just a few examples of asbestos containing materials include sprayed asbestos coatings, asbestos cement products, asbestos insulation, asbestos lagging, and asbestos insulating board.
Asbestos containment measures
Working safely with asbestos including asbestos containment measures are paramount for preventing the release of asbestos fibres. It is crucial to emphasise that “prevention is always better than cure” when dealing with asbestos-related risks. Never disturb asbestos if you can avoid it.
Negative air pressure units play a welcome role in creating controlled work environments, ensuring that any potential asbestos fibres are contained and do not pose a threat to workers or the surroundings. These measures underscore the importance of initiative-taking and preventive approaches in asbestos management and handling asbestos waste.
If you cannot prevent the release of asbestos, carry out a risk assessment and considering the suggestions below will help with working with asbestos in the industrial workplace.
PPE essentials for working with asbestos
The immense importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) cannot be overstated and is also required by asbestos regulations. It plays a critical role in safeguarding your well-being when dealing with asbestos-related tasks. We discuss five areas of PPE essentials to consider for your business below:
- Asbestos suits
- Full body suits
- Respiratory protection
- Eye and face protection
- Hand and foot protection
Asbestos suits – your first line of defence
Asbestos suits serve as essential protective gear for employees working in environments with asbestos exposure. They are the primary defence against asbestos-related hazards.
These suits are available in different styles such as disposable coveralls, half-suits, and full-body suits. When choosing an asbestos suit, it is crucial to consider several important factors like the material used, the level of breathability and flexibility, and the overall fit. It is recommended to select a suit that meets industry standards for asbestos protection and provides complete coverage for the body, including the head, hands, and feet.
A protective coverall is ideal in preventing asbestos exposure
The right training on managing asbestos waste how to use and maintain asbestos suits is also necessary to ensure maximum safety and efficacy in avoiding possible asbestos exposure.
Full body asbestos suits for complete protection
Full body suits, as stated above, are only one type of asbestos suit. They deserve a second mention since they are essential for complete defence against a wide range of threats and are perfect for building or maintenance work. This protective clothing is critical for protecting against not only asbestos but also chemicals and other potentially hazardous substances. They serve as an important barrier by preventing direct contact with hazardous substances and minimising exposure risks.
Examining the specific material options is critical when considering full body suits because different circumstances may necessitate variable degrees of durability and resistance.
Respiratory protection plays an important role in safeguarding against asbestos-related risks. Various respirators are designed for asbestos work, including disposable masks, half-face respirators, and full-face respirators with appropriate filters.
This 3M dust mask kit is ideal for personal respiratory protection
Proper fit testing is crucial to ensure respirators create a secure seal, preventing harmful particles from entering. Regular maintenance, such as filter replacement and cleaning, is essential to keep respirators in optimal condition.
Prioritising the significance of respiratory protection, choosing the right respirator, and maintaining it properly are paramount for safe asbestos tasks.
Eye and face protection
Eye protection and face protection are indispensable in guarding against airborne asbestos particles. Face shields, safety glasses, and goggles serve as crucial barriers. Selecting the appropriate eye and face protection gear is vital.
Consider a range of factors like the nature of the asbestos task and potential exposure levels. Prioritising these measures ensures comprehensive protection against the hazards associated with asbestos work.
Hand and foot protection
Protecting your hands and feet where you suspect asbestos is present is essential to prevent exposure. Ensure you use high-quality gloves specifically designed for asbestos handling to minimise risks, such as nitrile gloves. Additionally, investing in protective footwear such as disposable boot covers will create a hazard-free workspace.
Disposable overshoes are ideal for providing foot protection
By implementing these safety precautions, you can significantly reduce the chance of asbestos-related health problems. Remember to always follow proper protocols and guidelines to maintain a safe working environment.
Recommended PPE for asbestos handling
|PPE Category||Recommended items|
|Asbestos suits||Disposable coveralls, hood, and boots|
|Full body suits||Tyvek suits or similar, with integrated hood|
|Respiratory PPE||N95 respirators, PAPRs, or supplied-air systems|
|Eye and face PPE||Goggles, face shields, or safety glasses|
|Hand and foot PPE||Nitrile gloves, disposable boot covers|
|Asbestos containment||Polyethylene sheeting, duct tape|
Risks to asbestos exposure, handling asbestos waste and asbestos removal are serious and necessitate the most serious of protective measures. Prevention is better than cure as eliminating or sealing asbestos will prevent fibres from being in the air and will make PPE equipment redundant.
Where needed, undoubtedly one of the best safeguards is to wear an asbestos suit, preferably a full body suit – these can be considered a first line of defence. Other PPE essentials which are useful in the industrial workplace include respiratory protection, eye and face protection, and hand and foot protection.
If you have any questions or need assistance with asbestos suits (including full body suit PPE products) or other PPE for working with asbestos, please contact us at DTC. Improve the way you manage asbestos when you contact us as soon as possible using the information below: