As an apprentice working for an asbestos abatement company, you should understand that asbestos takes many dangerous shapes and forms. Therefore, proper preparation during the asbestos removal process is essential to keeping the site as well as the surrounding environment safe. That said, being an apprentice on your first asbestos removal project could be a bit scary, given the dangers that asbestos poses. However, this should not be a problem if you avoid most of the asbestos removal protection mistakes that apprentices make.
Using Ordinary Facemasks -- A common misconception among new apprentices is that ordinary facemasks can filter out asbestos fibres. This is far from the truth because asbestos fibres can be a thousand times smaller than a hair strand. Therefore, it is very easy to inhale the fibres through ordinary facemasks without you noticing it. When preparing for asbestos removal, apprentices should ensure they have a facemask approved for the project. These are equipped with a respirator or filter cartridge that traps the smallest of asbestos fibres. Even if there are not enough respiratory masks available, it is better to wait for a new batch rather than using the ordinary type.
Wearing Mask on a Full Beard -- Having the right face mask is only the first step to keeping yourself safe during asbestos removal. The second step is to make sure that the mask fits snug over your nose and mouth. Unfortunately, most apprentices do not see anything wrong with wearing the mask on a full beard. However, doing so leaves tiny gaps between your skin and the mask. Consequently, it creates enough room for the microscopic fibres to go through and into your nose. If it is your first time going to an asbestos abatement project, ensure that you are clean-shaven for the facemask to fit tight.
Tucking Coveralls under Gloves -- Wearing gloves and coveralls is a no brainer even if you are an apprentice. It is how you wear these that matters. A common practice is to tuck the coveralls under the gloves since the elastic band will keep the coverall in place. However, since asbestos fibres are microscopic, they can find their way under the gloves, especially when you have to adjust coverall arms under the gloves. Therefore, in addition to tucking the coveralls under your gloves, ensure you tape around the edge of the gloves. This will create an unreachable seal, thereby keeping any fibres on and not under the coveralls.
For more information on asbestos removal, contact a professional near you.