Asbestos Exposure for Mechanics > Identification and Prevention
In our last article, we discussed some of the ways that auto mechanics are exposed to dangerous asbestos in their daily duties. Brake pad dust is laden with this harmful substance, which has been linked to mesothelioma and other cancers. In an effort to minimize these risks and keep your employees safe on the job, we’ve devised this simple identification and prevention guide. Most importantly, secure your employees from the immediate and latent exposures with a comprehensive Central Florida Auto Shop Workers’ Comp insurance package.
This process requires more than just looking at brake shoes. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, for newer vehicles and parts, auto manufacturers, auto parts retailers and packaging information, such as labels or Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), may be able to tell you whether or not your brake or clutch components contain asbestos. For older vehicles, or vehicles that have had brakes replaced, you may not be able to easily find out if the brake or clutch components contain asbestos. As a best practice, OSHA states that mechanics should assume that all brakes have asbestos-type shoes. Worn non-asbestos-type brakes cannot be readily distinguished from asbestos-type shoes. If a mechanic assumes incorrectly that a shoe is a non-asbestos type and fails to utilize brake dust control procedures, increased asbestos exposure may result.
If you perform more than five brake or clutch repairs each week, OSHA requires that you use the following asbestos prevention strategies.
- Negative pressure enclosure/HEPA Vacuum System – This type of enclosure and vacuum system has a special box with clear plastic walls or windows, which fits tightly around a brake or clutch assembly to prevent asbestos exposure.
- Wet Wipe – A solution of water, or detergent and water, that can be sprayed on all brake pads and clutches and wiped clean with a cloth to rid them of asbestos.
- Low pressure method – This method allows a gentle stream of water to mist over the brakes and catches the runoff in a designated container to prevent the inhalation of asbestos.
About Newman Crane & Associates Insurance
At Newman Crane, our Orlando auto shop insurance specialists can provide you with customized risk management solutions to keep you and your workers safe. We offer the Orlando Worker’s Comp coverage as one of our many business insurance solutions for Orlando auto shops. Give our Orlando auto shop insurance specialists a call today at (407) 859-3691 learn more about all of our offerings.