Before the late 1970s, asbestos was commonly used in uncontrolled ways, leading to millions of people becoming sick and even dying from mesothelioma and other diseases. Like other states, Illinois took direction from the federal government to control the use of asbestos in building and mining materials.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has strict licensing criteria for any disciplines that use asbestos. Every year, the department inspects the area and renews the license.
Placing responsibility for asbestos exposure
Federal and state laws require employers to protect workers from exposure to asbestos. Those who abate or manage asbestos in public buildings, commercial buildings or schools, must be licensed and trained to do so. General contractors must be licensed with the appropriate insurance to work in asbestos abatement projects.
Air samples are the responsibility of air sampling professionals to determine if there is a harmful concentration outside or inside of a working area. Once asbestos abatement projects are completed, the same person completes aggressive air monitoring to clear the air in the area.
Materials with asbestos must be identified by inspectors. This is done by sampling suspected materials when an inspector unearths them during an inspection.
Contractors employ supervisors who understand state and federal regulations when it comes to asbestos and apply those regulations at every job site. Management planners take the information they receive from the inspector to develop management plans that are safe for workers.
A team effort can keep workers safe
It takes a team of people to keep people safe when they are working with asbestos materials. If one person fails to do their job, the results can be catastrophic and fatal for unsuspecting workers.