The only known cure for mesothelioma is prevention. Is it possible that by using educational tools in the workplace that it may help educate people about the harmful effects of asbestos? The answer is simple – knowledge is power.

Canada: Educating About Asbestos

Not that long ago Canada announced that they have intentions to ban asbestos by 2018. Recently, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) established a new E-course that is intended to help manage and educate employees and employers about asbestos in the workplace.

asbestos iconThis E-course is called Asbestos in the Workplace. This online course was developed by individuals that have an expertise and abundance of knowledge about asbestos. It was created so that users can learn at their own pace and convenience.

The goal of this course is to help individuals understand
  • Asbestos and the hazards associated with it
  • How it is used in the workplace
  • Management of asbestos
  • Helpful resources
By the end of the E-course participants should be able to
  • Identify asbestos sources in the workplace
  • Be aware of situations that may put them at risk for being exposed
  • Know how asbestos hazards are assessed
  • Determine when external resources may be required to manage asbestos risks
  • Know how to access legislation and other resources to help manage asbestos in their workplace

With this test, CCOHS aims to provide more of a background and knowledge about asbestos to the occupational setting. Occupational exposure is considered one of the leading causes of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.

2 Ways the U.S. Educates the Workplace

The struggle to officially ban asbestos in the United States still continues. The biggest success that asbestos anti-ralliers have had is that it is currently being reviewed by the EPA under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act. However, it may take up to 5 years to reveal the EPA’s final decision.

Just like CCOHS, the United States Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers education about asbestos in the workplace.

  • 1
    OSHA’s Official Class

One way that employees and employers can be educated about asbestos is by attending a class that OSHA offers.The name of the course is OSHA #7250 – Health Hazard Awareness. However, this course isn’t specifically designed to just cover asbestos.

In addition to asbestos, this course covers the dangers of
  • Chemicals
  • Silica
  • Lead
By the end of the course, participants should be able to
  • Identify and evaluate health hazards
  • Know their sources
  • Be knowledgeable of hazards
  • Control and abatement hazardous situations

A participant taking this course will actually get the opportunity to participate in workshops that cover topics of evaluation and abatement.

  • 2
    National Safety Compliance Materials

Another form of bringing asbestos awareness to the workplace is by training materials and videos that are available from the National Safety Compliance. All of the material that is offered by the National Safety Compliance adheres to all of OSHA’s regulations.

Workers Right to Know

Research has revealed that any level of asbestos exposure isn’t safe to an individual. Rules established by the EPA and OSHA help protect workers from asbestos. Also, federal laws give workers the right to know about asbestos hazards in their workplace environment.

OSHA’S Rules
  • General Industry Standard – addresses housekeeping activities in both buildings and automotive brake and clutch repairs.
  • Construction Standard – encompasses operations that include asbestos being removed, encapsulated, building maintenances, repairs, and emergency cleanups.
EPA’s Rules
  • Asbestos Worker Protection Rule – protects workers that are not covered by OSHA’s laws.
  • Asbestos-in-Schools Rule – makes schools inspect their facilities for asbestos. It requires them to take action to prevent exposure to workers, students, and other occupants.
  • National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants – places requirements on: removing asbestos before demolition, notifying the EPA of asbestos removal, preventing the release of asbestos fiber into the air, and proper waste disposal.
DID YOU KNOW?: According to OSHA permissible exposure limits (PEL), the legal amount of asbestos that a worker can be exposed to over an eight-hour work shift is one-tenth of an asbestos fiber per cubic centimeter of air.

All workers should keep in mind that just because something is legal, doesn’t mean that it is safe.

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Show Sources & Author

  1. E-course helps manage asbestos in the workplace. REMI Network. Retrieved from: https://www.reminetwork.com/articles/e-course-helps-manage-asbestos-workplace/. Accessed: 10/12/2017.
  2. Asbestos in the Workplace. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Retrieved from: http://www.ccohs.ca/products/courses/asbestos/. Accessed: 10/12/2017.
  3. Course Descriptions. United States Department of Labor. Retrieved from: https://www.osha.gov/dte/edcenters/course_description.html#501. Accessed: 10/12/2017.
  4. Asbestos / Lead. National Safety Compliance. Retrieved from: https://www.osha-safety-training.net/product-category/subject/asbestos-lead/. Accessed: 10/12/2017.
  5. Asbestos. United States Department of Labor. Retrieved from: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asbestos/. Accessed: 10/12/2017.
  6. Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Risk. National Cancer Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/asbestos/asbestos-fact-sheet. Accessed: 10/13/2017.
  7. Federal OSHA and EPA Asbestos Laws. American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees. Retrieved from: https://www.afscme.org/news/publications/workplace-health-and-safety/fact-sheets/federal-osha-and-epa-asbestos-laws. Accessed: 10/13/2017.

About the Writer, Nicole Godfrey

Nicole Godfrey is the Senior Content Writer for Mesothelioma Guide. She develops content to help educate and provide awareness about the most significant information about improving a mesothelioma patient’s prognosis.