Step One: Assessment and Survey
The first step of a management program is to perform a survey to assess the location, identify the type of problem (whether asbestos, lead base paint, mold, or just air quality), the condition of the material or effected area and establish a maintenance record. Take any corrective actions to limit liability.
Step Two: Notification
This step identifies where the problem is located for the building manager, maintenance staff, and service contractors.
Step Three: Worker Training
A health and safety program should be established including an Inspection policy and employee training. Employees who are most likely to come in contact or work with the environmental problem material. Alert all sub trades and maintenance contractors who work within the vicinity of the material or contaminated area.
Step Four: Corrective Measurers
Where the survey has identified the problem or material which is severely damaged, deteriorated, or causing problems, the building manager should decide which of the following three methods of corrective or remedial measures are going to be utilized.
- REMOVAL: In most situations, removal will initially be the most expensive method. However, depending on the circumstances, removal can be an economically preferred option. Remember, removal is the only permanent solution.
- ENCAPSULATION: Encapsulation is a very successful option in dealing with environmental problems and involves covering the material or contaminated area with a strong impervious sealant.
- The sealant’s (encapsulant) function is to enclose and prevent the exposure from the material or contaminated area. In case of asbestos pipe insulation, elbows, or tees, the adhesive lagging is applied to cover and provide a hard-shell coating.
- Encapsulation requires periodic inspections, quarterly or annually, to monitor the condition of the ACM.
- ENCLOSURE: The enclosure method permanently encloses the problem. The enclosure must be completely airtight and this method is best used only where access to electrical, plumbing or ventilation services are not required.
Step Five: Immediate Attention
For situations that require immediate attention, a contractors services can be retained on the following terms:
- Guaranteed Price Contract- to complete the initial removal or encapsulation work required for a fixed lump sum price.
- Service Contract – on standing offer or on a time and materials basis. The contractor must be available to service your problem, just as your mechanical contactor services your air conditioning. Every building manager should have a service contractor in case of an emergency.
Step Six: Air Monitoring
With any type of removal, encapsulation, or enclosure air monitoring is a vital part of your liability protection, before during and after any abatement as outlined above, air monitoring should be conducted. This shows the work was accomplished within regulatory compliance and protects claims of exposure.
It is suggested that air monitoring be conducted at period intervals to protect the building owner from exposure and nuisance claims by any building occupant or visitor.