Southwest HAZARD CONTROL, INC. has been on the leading edge of microbiological remediation, performing our first mold/fungal remediation project in 1993. Since then, SHC has performed approximately $1,500,000 worth of microbiological remediation projects for clients including Tucson Unified School District, Tucson Medical Center, and the University of Arizona.
There are no specific regulations governing microbiological remediation, however, general occupational safety is addressed in two Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. The general duty clause of the 1970 OSHA Act requires employers to provide a work environment “free from recognized hazards” and the 1987 Hazard Communication Standard provisions for employers to inform employees of chemical work-place hazards, including carcinogens, sensitizers and neurotoxins. Precautionary measures that may be required may include: 1) negative pressurization, 2) physical isolation, 3) the use of respirators equipped with high efficiency particulate (HEPA) filters, 4) protective equipment for eyes and skin and 5) the use of precautions and procedures similar to asbestos abatement.
SHC furnishes all labor, materials, employee training, pollution, general liability, Errors and Omissions insurance coverage, expertise, and equipment necessary to carry out the specified microbiological remediation project. SHC will also secure all required permits including any necessary state, regional and local licenses.
Because there are no specific regulations governing mold remediation, there are varying opinions on the proper remediation techniques and procedures. Unless project specific specifications are provided, SHC follows procedures outlined in the New York City Department of Health documents: “Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments” and “Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Stachybotrys Atra in Indoor Environments”.
Hazard Communication Standards
SHC maintains a written hazard communication program for the work place.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are prepared, explained and distributed to employees and employers.
Prior to the beginning of actual remediation activities, a pre-construction meeting is held between the owner (consultant) and SHC. SHC will present a written description of the following:
§ Removal plans, which include decontamination facilities and their location, work area isolation and containment plans and safety procedures.
§ A description of protective clothing and approved respirators that will be used.
§ A description of removal, clean-up, and waste disposal procedures and an explanation of decontamination procedures.
Workers are required to wear and maintain personal protective equipment (PPE) as directed by site supervisor when working within any zone of contamination.
Protective equipment is inspected thoroughly before each use and defective equipment is replaced immediately.
Proper decontamination procedures are followed after exposure to microbiological waste.
Safe Work Practices
All workers, foremen, superintendents, authorized visitors, and inspectors are supplied with appropriate respiratory equipment for the type of work being performed and the anticipated exposure levels defined by 29 CFR 1910 and 1926.
Workers wear appropriate protective equipment and clothing prior to entering the work area.
Weekly meetings are held at each job site to discuss accident prevention. Subjects will include safe use of electricity, water, scaffolding, hoses, lighting, etc. Daily tailgate meetings are also held to discuss hazards specific to current job sites.
Emergency and fire exits are established for each work area and SHC will be prepared to administer first aid to injured personnel. Seriously injured personnel will be treated immediately or evacuated without delay for decontamination. Emergency evacuation due to injury or safety will be performed in a manner that minimizes exposure and contamination.