Guidance Manual Asbestos Operations & Maintenance Work Practices  


The work practices described in this manual are applicable to repair, maintenance and cleaning operations where asbestos containing material (ACM) or presumed asbestos-containing material (PACM) including thermal system insulation, surfacing, resilient flooring or other miscellaneous asbestos-containing materials are involved. The work practices are intended to assist in meeting the current OSHA regulations applicable to O&M work. Appendix I of this manual describes the specific requirements of the OSHA Regulations relative to asbestos O&M work. Work practices in this manual are not intended for dedicated asbestos abatement, but rather to control disturbance of asbestos during repair, maintenance, or cleaning. These activities are by nature short in duration and small in scale. The amount of ACM disturbed by any O&M activity should be limited. Projects producing more waste than will fit in a single 60 inch X 60 inch waste bag, as well work falling outside OSHA’s O&M work classifications, should be performed in accordance with generally recognized asbestos control techniques, such as those described in NIBS' Asbestos Abatement and Management in Buildings: Model Guide Specifications. These O&M work practices are not to be used for activities requiring abatement of ACM.

This manual is intended for use by a designer of an asbestos O&M program, which will be implemented by an Asbestos Program Manager (APM) and trained workers. The APM may design the program as well as implement it. The title “Asbestos Program Manager” is used throughout, however, other titles can be used by individuals holding similar responsibilities. The manual provides checklists and step-by-step work practices which might be used by an O&M program designer to develop facility specific work practices for workers performing O&M work. Because asbestos in buildings is present under widely varying circumstances including, but not limited to, its condition, location, material type, friability, and accessibility, a range of guidance for common operations and maintenance procedures is offered in this manual. The project committee determined that flexibility is crucial to the efficient and cost effective completion of an O&M activity. This leaves the ultimate choice of methods to on-site personnel who have first- and knowledge of the asbestos material, facility conditions, and other pertinent needs. These work practices were written with the knowledge that there might be alternate procedures or equipment beyond those in this manual that will adequately accomplish O&M objectives. The project committee encourages the development and application of new and innovative equipment and safe, cost effective procedures for O&M work.