Identifying Risks of Getting Exposed to Asbestos

Posted On: February 9, 2018
Hazmat team examining office workers after contagious outbreak
Workers who work in an environment that contains high levels of asbestos are not the only ones who are at risk of contracting diseases. When they work with products that are made out of this material, they bring it home with them on their clothes, tools, and skin. Failure to take the proper precautions can result in serious health risks which their families will not be safe from either.

Secondary Asbestos Exposure

Once asbestos penetrates cloth or lands on skin, it is difficult to wash off and is easily airborne. Click To Tweet

Once asbestos penetrates cloth or lands on skin, it is difficult to wash off and is easily airborne. Even a simple hug can transfer this harmful agent to a child or a partner, either through inhalation or through skin on skin contact. As it enters the bloodstream, asbestos poisons the body slowly, oftentimes resulting in mesothelioma, a cancer that appears decades after consistent exposure. Women are more likely than men to contract this disease from secondary exposure. Most women develop a rare form of mesothelioma. The disease appears on the abdominal lining making it more difficult to treat than the more common pleural mesothelioma. Consistent secondary exposure to asbestos can also result in malignant mesothelioma and this is not confined to workers and their families either. This harmful agent can be found in homes across the US. It is found especially in residential areas that are close to mines or construction zones. Once the harmful fibers penetrate the soil, they lose their potency but are deadly when they become airborne. Besides mining and construction, asbestos exposure is imminent from:
  • Demolition sites
  • Heavy repair work
  • Renovations
  • Any place that experiences heavy work such as shipyards, dirt bike tracks, and railways
  • Industrial workplaces with insufficient safety measures that can contain airborne asbestos
Airborne asbestos fibers are invisible to the naked eye which makes first contact impossible to detect. In fact, family members who come in contact with the fibers only know it after they show signs of illness. Malignant mesothelioma develops from this, and since there is a longer timeframe between exposure and its symptoms, it usually proves fatal. Unfortunately, most workers remain unaware of the danger until it is too late. However, this silent killer can be eliminated with proper safety equipment.

Why you should take the HAZWOPER Refresher Training Course by 360Training

The HAZWOPER Refresher course from 360Training is a course designed for workers who work in hazardous waste sites or a work environment that exposes them to hazardous agents. It spans 8 hours and comprises of elements that aid workers in revising safety measures they can use to protect themselves and their loved ones. The course is specifically meant for general site workers who are responsible for removing hazardous waste or who are exposed to other health hazards at their work sites. It contains multiple sections including:
  • PPE or Personal Protective Equipment and how to use it
  • HAZWOPER regulations
  • Confined space training and emergency tactics
  • Medical surveillance
  • Toxicology and site characterization
Once they complete the course, students will be able to:
  • Determine different types of exposure and the chemicals involved
  • Recall OSHA regulations and requirements as they relate to workplace safety
  • Identify common and serious workplace hazards along with corrosive chemicals
  • Relate steps for any hazard communication plan
  • Determine ways to protect themselves
  • Determine the characteristics of a worksite
  • Indicate appropriate protection tactics
  • Relate the use of Personal Protective Equipment and how to use it
  • Identify respiratory equipment and how to use it
  • Determine different levels of radiation
  • Determine decontamination methods and the severity of the decontamination
  • Determine air monitoring methods and how to implement them
  • Identify medical concerns in confined workspaces along with its associated permit system. This includes the different types of ventilation and airborne hazards they need to be wary of.
  • Define a medical surveillance program and its need
  • Determine factors that can protect them at a worksite. This includes taking appropriate action for not only their own personal safety, but also others who are exposed to similar dangerous situations.
Once the course is completed, students will receive a certificate that proves they are trained in working on hazardous work sites. It is also accepted by OSHA. HAZWOPER  

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