Asbestos Soil Remediation: How to Minimize Health Hazards on Your Site
Contamination of soil with asbestos fibers is common on construction sites where an old structure was demolished. Most of the buildings constructed in the 80s contain asbestos in materials used for roofing, fencing, insulation, and plumbing. If such a structure is demolished without asbestos management, the harmful fibers find their way into the soil. Starting a construction project on such contaminated soil can expose workers to health hazards associated with the dangerous asbestos fibers. For this reason, you need to minimize risks on the site by following these measures.
Don't disturb the soil
You should not undertake any excavation or earthmoving projects should before inspecting the soil. That should be standard procedure when constructing on a piece of land where an old structure was demolished. Unless you have documentation that proves that the building did not have asbestos or that proper asbestos removal was carried out, you should not proceed with the project. Ask an inspector to collect samples of the soil, take it for testing, and give a full report of the findings. If the soil is cleared for contamination, you can proceed with the project.
Leave the remediation process to experts
Improper asbestos removal can lead to serious health implications for workers. For this reason, the process of testing and removing asbestos should be left to the professionals. Trying to decontaminate the soil without the right expertise can land you on the wrong side of the law. What's more, if any workers get sick in the process, they can sue you for knowingly exposing them to health hazards. The lawsuit and associated costs, fines, and compensation can stall your project and lead to financial losses that you may not be ready to incur.
Provide protective equipment
Once it has been established that your site or part of it has asbestos, the removal company will start planning for remediation. This may take weeks to finalize. If you still need to work on the part of the land that is asbestos-free, make sure that your workers are safe. Use protective gloves, and nose masks to prevent exposure as the fibers may already be in the air. If workers have to come close to the affected area, they should use special protective clothing. If possible, cordon off the land with the contaminated soil until after remediation.
Do not attempt to proceed with construction work on land with contaminated soil. Find a certified asbestos removal company and let them clean the soil before moving on with the project.