Safe Solutions

OSHA's asbestos rules

A number of years have passed since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized its regulations pertaining to asbestos in the construction workplace. That action was not without conflict; this year marks the 15th anniversary of the settlement agreement reached by OSHA, NRCA and initiating roofing contractors as a result of a lawsuit against the agency claiming the original regulations failed to take into account the unique nature of asbestos-containing roofing materials (ACRM) and roof system removal practices.

Unfortunately, NRCA recently has witnessed an increased number of instances in which government compliance officers, general contractors and roof consultants have misinterpreted or disregarded the well-settled rules and regulations applicable to removal of ACRM.

Major components

OSHA regulations do not apply to asbestos-containing roof coatings, cements or mastics—regardless of the percent of asbestos.