Asbestos Abatement >> Asbestos Tile

Yes No Top of Form How can we make better? (250 Character max.) We are collecting this info under OMB clearance number 1225-0059 Bottom of Form Thank you for your feedback! Please Contact Us if you have any other Asbestos Tile comments or questions!  Thank you for your July 27 letter regarding the cleaning of asbestos-containing floor tile. 

You wish clarification of the Asbestos Tile provisions in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) asbestos standards which regulate this activity. Your questions and our answers are provided below. 

Question 1: Are we correct that asbestos floor tile cleaning activities (normal maintenance such as stripping and buffing operations) are covered under both the asbestos General Industry Standard (§1910.1001) and Asbestos Tile the asbestos Construction Standard (§1926.1101)? 

Answer: Yes. Both standards contain the same Asbestos Tile requirements for care of asbestos-containing flooring material. The requirements are at 29 CFR 1910.1001(k)(7) and 29 CFR 1926.1101(l)(3). 

Question 2: Are we correct that for normal cleaning (routine stripping and buffing) that the asbestos General Industry housekeeping procedures apply, Asbestos Tile however the asbestos Construction Standard applies when floor tile clean-up activities are performed as a result of or incidental to a Class I, II or III job? 

Are we also correct, that asbestos floor tile cleaning under the Construction standard is considered a Class IV job? Answer: Stripping or Asbestos Tile buffing asbestos-containing flooring material previously soiled with asbestos-containing dust or debris from a Class I, II, or III asbestos job is not part of the clean-up activity. 

The clean-up activity consists of picking up the debris and vacuuming up the dust. As such, Asbestos Tile stripping or buffing asbestos-containing flooring material does not come under any of the designated classes of asbestos work defined in the Construction asbestos Standard. 

The stripping or buffing of asbestos-containing flooring material usually comes under the scope of the General Industry asbestos Standard. However, Asbestos Tile stripping or buffing of the flooring material comes under the scope of the Construction asbestos Standard if a construction company does it as part of the completion of a construction project. 

Question 3: Both standards discuss stripping operations and [stipulate] that low abrasion pads, wet methods, and Asbestos Tile speeds lower than 300 rpm must be employed. If higher speed machines are used and current Negative Exposure Assessment (NEA) data exists (by TEM) showing the PEL was not exceeded, is it necessary to submit a written alternative work procedure and/or seek a variance? 

Answer: The Construction asbestos Standard does not allow the Asbestos Tile use of alternative procedures for care of asbestos-containing flooring material. The Standard makes allowances for using alternative control methods for only Class I or II asbestos work. 

The fact that the asbestos PELs are not exceeded when the floor stripping uses low Asbestos Tile abrasion pads at speeds greater than 300 revolutions per minute (rpm) is not a sufficient condition to warrant the receipt of a variance permitting such use. 

In order to receive a variance, the employer must have implemented some means of maintaining asbestos aerosol levels in the employees' breathing zones at levels equal to or Asbestos Tile less than the levels occurring at speeds lower than 300 rpm. Question 4: While the Construction Standard discusses submitting alternative work procedures, the General Industry Standard does not. 

How does one handle an alternative work procedure regarding the General Industry Standard? Answer: As we noted in our reply to your third question, Asbestos Tile the Construction asbestos Standard makes allowances for alternative control methods for only Class I or II asbestos work. 

Therefore, whether the stripping or buffing of asbestos-containing flooring material is covered by the Construction asbestos Standard or Asbestos Tile the General Industry asbestos Standard, the employer who wishes to use alternative stripping or buffing procedures must seek a permanent variance.

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