Asbestos is a hazard to our society, but luckily, some laws and regulations are put in place to protect us. The AHERA, which is the Asbestos Hazardous Emergency Response Act, was put into action to safeguard better those that could become exposed to asbestos in schools. The AHERA was enacted in 1986 and is under the TSCA. Asbestos has long been an issue in schools across the United States. This asbestos can pose an extreme hazard to teachers, students, and other school employees.
What is the AHERA?
Under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, all schools are required to take certain precautions. Below, we will discuss the main parts of the AHERA.
Private and Public schools must complete an inspection to see if any asbestos-containing materials are present. If so, they will need to do inspections every 3 years on all asbestos-containing materials.
They must develop a management plan that will need to be updated and maintained. A copy of the asbestos management plan must be kept at the school and used regularly.
If the school has asbestos on the property, they are required to notify teachers, parents, and employees of the asbestos and the asbestos management plan. They will also need to explain any asbestos-related actions that are planned to take place. This could be removing asbestos from a specific area of the school.
Regular checks of the asbestos-containing materials will need to be completed. If anything has changed, it will need to be documented and discussed.
All individuals inspecting the asbestos should be trained and licensed in asbestos removal.
All members of the staff should have asbestos-awareness training to ensure proper protocols.
In the event asbestos-containing materials are worn or damaged, it will need to be determined if they pose a risk to anyone on the property. If so, an asbestos abatement professional will need to be hired for the safe removal of the asbestos from the school.