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When Do Construction Workers Require Online Asbestos Training?

Exposure to asbestos can cause many serious health conditions. Lung cancer and mesothelioma are just two of the diseases linked to asbestos.

Despite the risks, most uses of asbestos are permitted in the US! Construction workers are among the groups at risk from asbestos exposure. Government regulations mandate asbestos training for construction workers.

Online asbestos training is a convenient and cost-effective way to promote worker safety. It also ensures compliance with the law.

Find out more about asbestos training and the benefits of online compliance training.

Asbestos Regulations for Construction Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate asbestos in the US. These agencies work to protect workers and the environment.

OSHA has two standards that cover asbestos training. The construction industry standard is 29 CFR 1926.1101. The general industry standard for asbestos is 29 CFR 1010.1001.

The EPA has several laws related to asbestos. These laws require measures that limit the release of asbestos into the environment.

Many states have their own asbestos regulations in addition to federal ones. Failure to follow federal and state asbestos regulations can result in significant penalties.

When Do Construction Workers Need Asbestos Training?

OSHA requires employers to provide training for employees whose asbestos exposure meets or goes over the limit. The OSHA exposure limit for asbestos is:

  • 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter as an 8-hour, time-weighted average, or
  • 1.0 fibers per cubic centimeter as a 30-minute time-weighted average (excursion limit)

The exposure level can be either measured or anticipated.

The training requirement also applies to employees who:

  • Work with asbestos
  • Work with materials that contain asbestos
  • Work with materials that may contain asbestos

Construction workers need asbestos training when they first start one of these positions. Training can occur before the work assignment begins. After the initial training, workers need training at least once a year.

States and municipalities may have their own training requirements.

Types of Asbestos Training

The type of asbestos training a worker needs depends on the work they do. Construction workers who have more direct contact with asbestos-containing materials need more training.

Class Descriptions for Work With Asbestos

Work with asbestos has four classifications.

Class I asbestos work includes:

  • Removing thermal system insulation
  • Removing surface materials containing asbestos
  • Removing presumed materials containing asbestos

Class II asbestos work is removing materials that contain asbestos other than those in Class I. Wallboard, floor tile, and roofing shingles are some examples.

Class III asbestos work includes repair and maintenance operations that are likely to disturb materials that contain or may contain asbestos. Class IV asbestos work is maintenance and custodial activities that contact but don't disturb materials that contain or may contain asbestos. Cleaning up debris from Class I, II, and III activities is also Class IV work.

For Class I and Class II, training needs to meet the EPA's Model Accreditation Plan (40 CFR part 763) standards. For Class III and Class IV work, the training needs to meet the EPA requirements in 40 CFR 763.92 (a)(2).

Awareness Training, O&M Training, and Abatement Training

All workers under the OSHA and EPA requirements need asbestos awareness training. Construction workers who may disturb or remove asbestos-containing materials need more operations and maintenance (O&M) training.

Workers who conduct asbestos abatement activities need an even higher level of training. These workers have direct, intentional contact with asbestos. The training is more extensive.

What Does Asbestos Training Cover?

The purpose of asbestos training is to improve safety. All asbestos training must cover certain information. O&M training and abatement training includes other more specialized information.

Training must be conducted in a way that workers can understand it.

Asbestos Awareness Training

Asbestos awareness training takes two hours. It covers topics that include:

  • Methods of recognizing asbestos
  • Health effects of asbestos exposure
  • Relationship between smoking and asbestos in causing lung cancer
  • Types of work that can result in asbestos exposure
  • Importance of protective controls

The training should also cover the proper use of protective controls and procedures. For example, the training should explain how to use a respirator.

O&M and Abatement Training

Special training requirements apply to construction workers who do Class I, Class II, or Class III work with asbestos. This training covers the material in general asbestos compliance training in more detail. It covers the work practices and controls necessary for doing Class I, Class II, or Class III work.

Special asbestos training must include a hands-on component. It also typically covers federal, state, and local asbestos regulations.

O&M training usually lasts at least 14 hours. Training for Class I asbestos removal lasts between 32 and 40 hours.

In-Person vs Online Asbestos Training

Asbestos awareness training can be either in-person or online. OSHA and the EPA accept both types of courses for asbestos compliance training.

Asbestos training courses online have many advantages. Asbestos awareness training online lets you take the course when it's convenient for you. You can learn at your own pace.

Online compliance training gives you access to your courses from any device. Some online course providers offer their courses in many languages. You can learn in the language you're most comfortable with.

When you successfully complete the course, you'll get a printable certificate.

Choosing the Right Online Asbestos Training Provider

Asbestos training is very important. It helps protect the safety of construction workers. It ensures compliance with government regulations.

Finding the right online asbestos training provider is also important. You need courses that meet OSHA and EPA requirements. You want a platform that's up-to-date, easy to use, and convenient.

Compliance Training Online has been helping keep workers and companies safe and compliant since 2008. Our courses are a high-quality, low-cost option for asbestos training courses online.

Sign up for one of our OSHA construction online courses today!

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