DOE Establishes Regulations to Protect Workers From Asbestos
There is still so much concern surrounding asbestos exposure and the increased risk of developing diseases such as mesothelioma that it causes that the Department of Energy (DOE) has taking steps to prevent construction workers from ending up near the loose fibers.
According to the Mid-Columbia Tri-City Herald, the DOE and its regulators have agreed to restrict allowance of heavy equipment to be used during the demolishing of buildings that still have asbestosproducts in them. The primary reason for the restriction was to protect the health of the construction workers who have to man the equipment during the process and could be exposed to asbestos in the process.
The decision from the DOE comes months after an early-warning report issued by the inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency regarding workers conducting asbestos removal projects in Hanford, WA that could be unsafe. Prior to the warning, many workers had been performing asbestos abatement projects either by hand or by using heavy equipment.
Since the warning, Hanford contractors have not demolished any buildings that contain asbestos.