2016 OSHA Asbestos Signage Updates

2016 OSHA Asbestos Signage Updates

2016 OSHA Asbestos Signage Requirements

Asbestos has been used in many common building materials through the years, including insulation and floor tiles. During the removal of these materials, asbestos can be disturbed and enter the air.

Asbestos is a set of minerals that, through exposure, can cause illness and death. Some of the diseases that asbestos can cause are asbestosis and lung cancer.

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 1926.1101(k)(6), employers and building owners need to post signs that identify asbestos-containing and presumed asbestos-containing materials, where the materials are, and how to avoid disturbing the materials.

These signs need to be posted at any entrance to any area than may contain asbestos. OSHA has updated the standard regarding the occupational exposure to asbestos, including the wording of OSHA complaint safety signs.

According to the updated OSHA standard, as of June 1, 2016, the signs warning of asbestos should have the following message:

In addition to this text, if respirators and personal protective clothing is required, the signs should also have the following message:

Wear Respiratory Protection and Protective Clothing in this Area

The following table shows the old and new OSHA asbestos signage text:

Old Asbestos Sign Information New Asbestos Sign Information
Danger
Asbestos
Cancer and Lung Disease
Hazard
Authorized Personnel Only
Danger
Asbestos
May Cause Cancer
Causes Damage to Lungs
Authorized Personnel Only

Instead of stating “may cause cancer, causes damage to lungs,” older signage simply stated that asbestos was a “cancer and lung disease hazard.”

The language of the updated OSHA asbestos signage acknowledges the varying degrees of damage that asbestos can cause to someone’s health, ranging from cancer to other diseases like pleural effusion.

The additional text is also more direct and affirmative than the previously used language. Older signs only stated that PPE was required, while the new signage directs the reader to take action in areas of asbestos contamination.

Similar changes regarding the legends on OSHA asbestos labels took place on June 1, 2015.

Old Asbestos Label Information New Asbestos Label Information
Danger
Contains Asbestos Fibers
Avoid Creating Dust
Cancer and Lung Disease Hazard


Danger
Contains Asbestos Fibers
May Cause Cancer
Causes Damage to Lungs
Do Not Breathe Dust
Avoid Creating Dust

Labels should be used on any container that holds asbestos or the raw materials and debris containing asbestos.

To see more examples of OSHA compliant signs and labels, visit SafetySign.com’s page for asbestos warning signs.

What is OSHA?

OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – a public health agency that is part of the Department of Labor. OSHA sets and enforces workplace safety regulations. Learn more...

What is the OSHA format for safety signs?

OSHA formats for safety signs include specific use of safety headers, colors, and sign legends. These are OSHA standards and have come to incorporate the ANSI Z535-2011 standard. Learn More

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