Does OSHA regulate asbestos exposure for workers?

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Today, the answer is yes. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates asbestos exposure for workers. However, this hasn’t always been the case. Asbestos regulations

U.S. Asbestos Regulations 

The first OSHA regulations concerning workers’ use of asbestos went into effect in 1971. These regulations were revised throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and into the 1990s. Today, the agency regulates asbestos for the construction industry, shipyard industry, and general industry.

The regulation of asbestos in these industries specifies that no employee shall be exposed to an airborne concentration of asbestos that exceeds 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air as an eight hour time weighted average or an airborne concentration of asbestos that exceeds 1.0 fiber per cubic centimeter of air as averaged over a sampling period of 30 minutes.

While the specific requirements vary, the regulations also require:

  • Assessment and testing for the presence of asbestos
  • Ongoing monitoring to determine the level of asbestos
  • Hazard communications and warnings
  • Employee training
  • Medical surveillance
  • Records regarding asbestos exposure kept for at least 30 years

Asbestos Regulations Can’t Prevent All Asbestos Injuries

The United States regulates, but does not prohibit, the use of asbestos, and there is no known minimum threshold that asbestos exposure is considered safe. Additionally, even with regulations in place, you may still be at risk of asbestos exposure that is above the regulated amount.

You are particularly at risk of serious health consequences of asbestos exposure if you worked in or lived with someone who worked in an asbestos-related industry in the 1980s or earlier. These health consequences, including mesothelioma, often do not appear for decades, and you may just now be experiencing symptoms of this serious cancer.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related health condition, it is important to learn more about your legal rights. Please contact our experienced asbestos injury lawyers today for a free and confidential consultation. If you choose us to represent you, we will work on a contingency fee basis. That means, you won’t be charged any upfront fees for our services, and our fee will be an agreed on percentage of your settlement. Don’t spend another day wondering if you have a case or if you should take action. Get the reliable answers you need by contacting us online or calling us directly at 318.588.6303 today.


Richard J. Arsenault
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Recognized by several legal associations, Richard Arsenault has vast experience in complex litigation cases.