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Asbestos Removal, OSHA, South Coast AQMD

Twice in the past year – and perhaps 4 times in the last 6 years - we've seen building owners merely give contractors a set of drawings and an existing asbestos survey report . . . and then entrusted them to identify, quantify, bid on and remove all impacted asbestos materials properly, without inviting participation by the entity that had provided the inspection and report.      

In each of the above cases and whether intentional or not, identified asbestos materials were removed and disposed of as construction waste by the awarded contractor, without proper engineering controls or packaging.  Ellis was brought in to assist only after the AQMD had investigated and had cited both the Owner and the Contractor.   

 This is probably why Cal OSHA defines asbestos-related contract management as a “health-and-safety” service, requiring the participation of a California Certified Asbestos Consultant (CAC).   Most owners know enough to have a CAC or CSST monitoring the abatement.  But a CAC’s participation is sometimes overlooked (but probably most important) during the bid phase of the project.  CAC participation in the planning and bid phase helps to insure that all bidding contractors have been made aware of the presence and location of asbestos materials . . . and that related questions are answered before the project begins. 

Out of a few thousand projects for a few hundred clients, only 4 “hiccups” in 6 years is actually commendable, meaning that the vast majority of property owners understand the need to involve a CAC not just for monitoring and inspections, but also during the bid phase of the renovation project.