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State Meets Goals with Asbestos Management Program

Terracon recently completed an asbestos management and database development program for a state government in the southeastern United States. The state initiated the five-year program to aid in meeting regulatory requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In addition, the state wanted to survey and document their buildings for the presence of asbestos, and to properly train those employees who may come in contact with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).

As part of the program, Terracon conducted asbestos surveys at 2,500 state-owned buildings, developed a database using Microsoft SQL to compile the collected data, and developed a secure, domain-specific Web site to disseminate the data to authorized state employees. To accomplish this project, Terracon relied on the capabilities, expertise, and staffing of several offices, including resources of the Corporate Information Technology (IT) Solutions group.

To collect and disseminate such large volumes of asbestos and building data, Terracon developed a unique surveying and reporting protocol. This protocol, once incorporated into the SQL database and Web site, allowed state employees to conduct ad hoc searches of the system through user-specified criteria, including searching/downloading asbestos survey reports containing detailed floor plans and asbestos data; building specific, OSHAcompliant Operation and Maintenance Plans (O&M Plans); individual room and floor asbestos data; and homogeneous area data. These reports and data were downloadable in real-time to user-friendly PDF or Excel documents.

Terracon also developed the system to track abatement of documented ACMs and allowed uploading of closure reports, state agency approval documents, and waste manifests. This abatement tracking allowed the state to meet its regulatory requirements under their O&M Plans, and eliminated the need for future asbestos surveys due to lost hard copy reports or misplaced closure documents.

In response to using the Web-based system, the state employees reported time and money savings through the ability to access the data at anytime, and easily determine if ACMs were present within a specified room or floor in need of emergency repair or renovation. They also commented on the ease with which reports could be downloaded and e-mailed to abatement contractors or other contactors working in a particular building. This aided the state in meeting their “notification” requirements outlined in their O&M Plans.

Online Employee Training
Terracon developed and implemented a web-based, OSHAcompliant, two-hour Asbestos Awareness Training Program for training workers who may come in contact with ACMs during their daily work activities. The training covered items like: What is Asbestos? Health Effects of Asbestos, Emergency Response, Asbestos Regulations, and Record Keeping and Worker Responsibilities. The program also allowed tracking of employee training to meet the state’s regulatory record keeping requirements and so that employee’s annual re-training could easily be scheduled.

Continued Success
The long-term use of this database and Web site will allow the state to easily maintain their asbestos program and employee training. The overall success of the project was due to the state’s willingness and desire to meet its regulatory requirements, now and in the future. Terracon’s wide ranging capabilities in IT, asbestos surveying and reporting, and understanding of regulatory requirements also assisted in the success of the program.