Asbestos Management Goes Digital

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Doing more with less

The transition from antiquated asbestos management systems has become a requirement for many governments, agencies, and companies. Justification for the investment of time and money includes both a financial component and a qualitative component that addresses the ability to comply with regulations on an ongoing basis. To calculate return on investment (ROI) and fully appreciate the non-financial benefits of going digital, one must first be aware of the solutions available, their features, and how those features will be of benefit in a specific context. This article will help you to understand and evaluate those features, assist you in creating your own business case for automation, and warn you of potential pitfalls along the way. We’ll discuss how properly applied technology can positively impact operating costs, compliance, and perceived value of a service. Finally, we’ll summarize what to look for when you are ready to select a system of your own. asbestos management

The new rules

For years, asbestos was seen as a useful, naturally occurring mineral that was mined and used in a long list of construction and other products. The fire-resistant, insulating, and good reinforcing properties of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) made them popular in a variety of applications. In the past few decades however, asbestos has become a health and litigation nightmare. Ironically, the removal of ACM may be responsible for much of the dangerous exposure, as disturbing the materials releases airborne particles.

Widespread use of ACM stopped nearly 40 years ago, but perhaps no other obsolete substance makes news and impacts the economy like asbestos does today. It is deemed responsible for thousands of deaths, yet some research shows that a vast majority of legal claims are filed on behalf of people who are not sick and may never become sick as a result of exposure. With financial reserves in the tens of billions of dollars, the cost of dealing with asbestos cases is onerous and is borne by many parts of our society. Companies have gone bankrupt, thousands of jobs have been lost, pension plans have suffered, and the litigation continues. The RAND Institute for Civil Justice estimates that the overall projected business cost of asbestos litigation could total $210 billion or more. Unless you work for a law firm, the case is clear that parties in the line of asbestos liability need a strategy to manage the risk of exposing people to the substance, and thus minimize their financial exposure.

Any hazmat management program should aim to set up and maintain a set of procedures and processes which will be followed for the entire life of each location or property, and should ensure the safety of the tenants, contractors, staff, and citizens who use or visit those properties.
Typical conditions required by law for the management of asbestos include:

 

 


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