asbestos control program consists of the following
Identify asbestos hazards.
Control asbestos in the workplace.
Follow prescribed work practices.
Properly dispose of waste materials containing
Use the Asbestos Medical Surveillance Program
Train personnel to recognize asbestos hazards
and use precautions.
IDENTIFYING ASBESTOS HAZARDS
An industrial hygienist is required to survey all
workplaces at least once every 18 months to identify
asbestos hazards and recommend ways to eliminate or
Each time you plan to remove or repair thermal
insulation, you should try to determine whether it
contains asbestos. Ships such as tenders usually have
laboratory facilities to identify asbestos, and the only
acceptable identification is that done with polarizing
light. You cannot identify asbestos only by visual
inspection, and you should never depend on any
manufacturers marking that identifies insulation as
having no asbestos. If you cannot have the insulation
tested properly, always assume it contains asbestos,
especially on ships that were built before 1976.
CONTROL OF ASBESTOS IN THE
There are five basic means to control asbestos
hazards in the workplace: (1) substitute less-hazardous
materials, (2) use engineering controls such as isolation
or ventilation, (3) use administrative controls, (4) use
personal protective equipment, and (5) rotate personnel
in hazardous spaces to keep their exposure below the
permissible exposure limit (PEL). The ship should
prepare asbestos control procedures that set forth its
engineering and work practice controls and have them
ready for review.
Whenever possible, an IMA or shore facility should
repair or remove asbestos insulation, using personnel
who are part of an ongoing AMP. When this work must
be done at sea, the CO should authorize it and assign an
officer or petty officer trained in asbestos removal to
supervise the work.
Each ship that has asbestos thermal insulation on
board must have a three-person team trained to remove
the asbestos and to use protective equipment needed for
the work. The team should be made up of a supervisor,
a cutter, and a cleaner. The cutter moistens, cuts, and
removes insulation. The cleaner vacuums continuously
near the repair to minimize the spread of dust and helps
moisten the cut surfaces. The ships allowance list
(AEL) includes the necessary protective equipment.
General Workplace Control Practices
Each ship should implement the following general
practices to protect personnel from asbestos hazards:
Use substitute materials approved by NAVSEA
in place of asbestos-containing materials. Set a
high priority on the replacement of material
containing friable asbestos.
Always try to wet asbestos before you work with
it to prevent airborne fibers from exceeding the
Do not eat, drink, smoke, chew tobacco or gum,
or apply cosmetics in the area where asbestos
work is underway.
Develop procedures to minimize the
accumulation of asbestos-laden waste dust and
scrap materials. These should include wetting the
material and using high-efficiency particulate air
(HEPA) vacuum cleaning.
Collect and dispose of asbestos waste, scrap,
asbestos-contaminated disposable clothing in
sealed impermeable bags or other impermeable
containers. Be sure these containers are colored
distinctively for easy recognition. Double-bag
asbestos waste before you dispose of it.
While at sea, try to limit asbestos work to small
scale, short duration repair or maintenance
activities such as those in the following
Make minor repairs of insulation on pipes. A
minor repair means you may remove and
reinstall less than 3 linear feet of pipe
insulation or less than 3 square feet of
insulation on surfaces other than pipe.
Replace asbestos-containing gaskets.