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Environmental Health and Safety

Asbestos Management

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Asbestos Safety

The Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Department along with Facilities Operations Department and Office of Facilities Development are jointly responsible for the overall administration and coordination of asbestos related activities in NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Regular housekeeping and maintenance activities are not expected to disturb ACM. Any work that may result in the disturbance of asbestos containing material (ACM) will be conducted by properly trained and certified staff members or by an abatement firm. The EHS Department will periodically evaluate housekeeping and maintenance activities and determine a potential for exposure. All activities with potential or documented exposures to ACM will cease, and corrective measures will be implemented.

Employees will be provided an asbestos awareness training course containing the following: health effects of asbestos, locations of ACM and potential ACM in the building/facility, recognition of ACM and potential ACM damage and deterioration, requirements in this standard relating to housekeeping, and proper response to fiber release episodes. This training will be provided at least once a year and employee training records will be maintained for one year beyond the last date of employment.

Where might asbestos be found in the Hospital?

The following materials must be considered to contain asbestos until they have been properly tested. Insulation which is obviously fiberglass, however, does not need to be tested.

  • Thermal insulation, such as corrugated or white block insulation
  • Surfacing material, such as wall and ceiling plaster and spray-on insulation.
  • Miscellaneous material, such as floor tiles and ceiling tiles, with the following exceptions:
    • Greenberg Pavilion;
    • C.V. Starr;
    • Milstein Hospital Building;
    • Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York; and
    • The Allen Pavilion.

Testing will be performed in accordance with federal, state, and local standards to certify if asbestos is present.

How will I know if asbestos is present?

Accessible asbestos-containing thermal system insulation, surfacing material, and miscellaneous asbestos containing material (ACM) shall be labeled as asbestos, where feasible. Labels shall be used in accordance with the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1200(f) of OSHA's Hazard Communication standard, and shall contain the following information:

DANGER
CONTAINS ASBESTOS FIBERS
AVOID CREATING DUST
CANCER AND LUNG DISEASE HAZARD

If large amounts of asbestos are present in one area, such as a mechanical equipment room, the entrance to that area will be posted with signage. The warning signs will identify the material present, its location, and appropriate work practices which, if followed, will insure that the ACM is not disturbed. The signs must also contain the following information:

DANGER
ASBESTOS
CANCER AND LUNG DISEASE HAZARD
AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY

How will asbestos exposure for staff be monitored?

The employee exposure will be determined from breathing zone air samples that are representative of the 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) and 30-minute short-term exposures of each employee. Accurate records of all measurements will be kept that were taken to monitor employee exposure to asbestos including the following information:

  • Date of measurement;
  • Operation involving exposure to asbestos which is being monitored;
  • Sampling and analytical methods used and evidence of their accuracy;
  • Number, duration, and results of samples taken;
  • Type of respiratory protective devices worn, if any; and
  • Name, social security number, and exposure of the employees.

These records will be maintained for at least 30 years.

What if exposure limits to asbestos were exceeded?

The Hospital will institute a medical surveillance program for all employees who are or will be exposed to airborne concentrations of fibers of asbestos at or above the TWA and/or excursion limit. The program must include pre-placement, periodic, and termination of employment exams.

An accurate record for each employee will be established and maintained subject to medical surveillance which includes the following information:

  • Name and social security number of the employee;
  • Physician's written opinions;
  • Any employee medical complaints related to exposure to asbestos; and
  • A copy of the required information provided to the physician.

These records will be maintained for at least 30 years.

Contact

Environmental Health and Safety for All Hospital Sites
(646) NYP-SAFE [(646) 697-7233]

Someone is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your call.

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