Potential Asbestos Exposure Response Protocol - Weed Trimer Contacts Asbestos Insulation

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Consolidated Nuclear Security - CNS - Bechtel, Leidos, Orbital ATK SOC Booz Allen Hamilton (Various Locations), Oak Ridge, TN (Consolidated Nuclear Security - CNS - Y12 National Security Complex)

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Emergency Management, Environmental Protection, Occupational Safety and Health, Maintenance

A worker was using a gas-powered string trimmer to cut high weeds when contact was made with some fallen insulation material. The insulation, which was wet and could not be seen because it was buried in the high grass, was splattered onto the worker and his clothing by the trimmer. Because this was adjacent to an older facility and the insulation appeared to have fallen from overhead steam piping that had degraded over time, the worker suspected it may contain asbestos. The worker suspended the trimming activity and reported the event to his supervisor who confirmed that the insulation likely contained asbestos. Subsequent analysis results later confirmed the material did contain asbestos.

Lessons Learned: When a non-life threatening event is discovered that involves potential personnel asbestos exposure, contacting supervision for guidance will ensure the correct response personnel are dispatched to the event site, and the exposure potential is minimized.

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