OPERATIONAL GUIDELINE P R O C E D U R E

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1 OPERATIONAL GUIDELINE O.G. # TITLE: HAZMAT HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES- ASBESTOS PURPOSE: SCOPE: POLICY: To provide information to Burnaby Fire Department personnel regarding a consistent response to the handling of incidents involving Asbestos exposure. Burnaby Fire Department Personnel Burnaby Fire Department personnel shall adhere to the information outlined in this Operational Guideline. P R O C E D U R E 1. GENERAL INFORMATION 2. RISK IDENTIFICATION, ASSESSMENT AND CONTROL 3. PROCEDURES 4. INCIDENT RESPONSE 5. DOCUMENTATION 1. GENERAL INFORMATION This guideline is designed to provide a "Safe System of Work" that will help provide staff with the information and actions necessary to allow for adequate protection from the harmful effects of exposure to asbestos fibres. Definition of Exposure: The health effects associated with asbestos are through inhalation only. Proper PPE which includes respiration protection is the most important line of defence. It is mandatory that all staff working with potentially contaminated products, or in an area where contamination may be present, wear proper PPE. Asbestos is the name given to a fibrous mineral found in certain rocks. There are three main types: a) Arno site Brown b) Crocidolite - Blue c) Chrysotile - White It is not possible to identify the type by colour, as this is a description of their appearance when viewed under a microscope. All types are dangerous and should be treated as "hazardous material" when encountered by Fire/Rescue personnel during any operational incident. C:\Users\klambert\Desktop\Burnaby OG Hazmat - Hazardous Substances(ASBESTOS).doc 1

2 2. RISK IDENTIFICATION, ASSESSMENT AND CONTROL Important information that can assist in the identification of asbestos-containing materials includes inquiring about the age of the building within which work activities will take place, as well as viewing any previous asbestos survey/inspections/abatement reports for the building. For buildings/structures constructed prior to 1990 the Burnaby Fire Department will treat the building materials as suspect asbestos. Asbestos has infrequently been found in buildings constructed after 1980, but cannot be discounted. Whatever the means of asbestos identification, the specific method must be communicated to all Fire Department employees. Asbestos containing materials can be found in various building materials. Below is a general list of areas where it may be commonly found in buildings: Drywall Taping Compound Vinyl Sheet Flooring Mechanical Equipment Insulation Mastics, adhesives, putties, caulking Textured Finishes Vermiculite Vinyl Floor Tile Floor Levelling Compounds Fireproof/acoustical/thermal insulation Pipe Insulation Duct Insulation Cement board and pipe Acoustical ceiling tiles Plaster Firestopping Roofing Materials 2.1 Risk Identification and Assessment All forms of asbestos fibre can cause disease. Exposure to these fibres should be reduced as low as reasonably achievable. The Incident Commander or Incident Safety Officer should carry out a continuous risk assessment throughout operations to ensure the safety of all personnel attending when there is suspected asbestos-containing materials. The risk assessment must take into account any information gathered during pre-planning and/or information provided by on-site contact with knowledge of the building. The risk associated would be exposure to asbestos fibres released into the air during any firefighting operation. The priorities for an Incident Commander or Incident Safety Officer should be to ascertain: a) Are there any suspect asbestos-containing building materials within the fire (i.e. was the building constructed in the 1980 s?) b) Has the suspected asbestos-containing building materials been damaged and/or disturbed during the fire? c) If the asbestos-containing materials were not disturbed yet, is it reasonable to prevent the asbestos-containing materials from being disturbed? C:\Users\klambert\Desktop\Burnaby OG Hazmat - Hazardous Substances(ASBESTOS).doc 2

3 If the asbestos-containing materials have become involved in the fire during an incident or are discovered to be involved once operations have begun, tactics and methods will need to be reassessed and changed accordingly. 2.2 Required Controls In order to minimize or prevent the spread of the asbestos fibres into adjacent, unprotected work area(s) or potential worker exposures to asbestos fibres, the following engineering, administrative, PPE and Fire Department employees Engineering Vacuums equipped with HEPA-filters, for the following procedures: o Post Incident Clean up asbestos debris and fibres where applicable (i.e. vacuum off impervious suit, equipment, etc.) Isolation of the incident area(s); and Use of water to wet the asbestos materials prior to handling via airless or low-pressure water application system IMPORTANT NOTE! HEPA-filtered vacuums will only be considered to be effective if the unit(s) can pass a visual inspection as well as a filter integrity test. Such testing must be carried out at least annually, after filter replacement or if the integrity of the filter has been compromised due to impact during transportation or damage to the unit Administrative Posting of hazardous warning signs and barriers surrounding the designated incident area(s), restricting access unless personnel are fully equipped with the proper PPE; and Required asbestos education and training. IMPORTANT NOTE! Proper warning signage, as per WSBC OHSR Section 6.13, shall be posted at the boundary of any designated incident area(s) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) This may include, but is not limited to: Full faced respirators equipped with P100 filter cartridges (most commonly used for fire investigation duties) Self-contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) respirators (used during incident response). Hand protection (i.e. puncture-resistant rubber or nitrile work gloves/work gloves); Impervious fire retardant suits covering complete body and boots; and Any other safety PPE as required and outlined in the City of Burnaby Fire Department Health and Safety Program. IMPORTANT NOTE! Please refer to the Burnaby Fire Department employees Respiratory Protection Program for additional information regarding respirator C:\Users\klambert\Desktop\Burnaby selection. OG Hazmat - Hazardous Substances(ASBESTOS).doc 3 It is the employee s responsibility to assign a qualified and competent person to conduct fit testing of employees who wear respirators and that the fit testing

4 3. PROCEDURES See Asbestos Flow Chart located at the end of this guideline. 4. INCIDENT RESPONSE Make all personnel aware of hazard; Inform the Incident Commander. Incident Commander to advise Dispatch; Have risk area defined and when practical, cordoned off; Keep to a minimum the number of personnel at risk of exposure; All personnel in risk area to wear PPE - minimum of full turnout gear and SCBA; Based on the Incident and the level of asbestos exposure, consideration should be given to consulting with personnel trained to a Hazmat tech level to determine what level of decontamination would be appropriate; Consider the use of Level C Hazmat suits to assist in decontamination. Hazmat trained personnel response to the incident should only be considered if the risk of contamination is severe; Consideration of weather conditions and wind direction; have on coming apparatus approach and park up wind if feasible; Dust masks do not provide adequate protection when working in contaminated areas. Fit tested and rated respirators should only be considered where air sampling has taken place and is considered safe. In all other cases SCBA and PPE must be worn; Where possible the use of low-pressure sprays should be used to prevent fibres being forced into the air; Whenever personnel are required to temporarily leave an area known to have asbestos for the purpose of rehab, to change an air bottle, or any other reason, their PPE must be dampened down to prevent the possible release of asbestos fibres. (See Responder Decontamination, listed below, for procedures once the incident is complete); Use sprays to moisten down areas where it is known asbestos has been damaged or involved in fire; water run-off is not considered to be an environmental hazard. This again will keep airborne fibres to a minimum; Keep disruption and further damage of asbestos to a minimum - plan tasks carefully. If required, use hand tools not power tools; Set up decontamination procedures as soon as possible; consider the need for the Decon procedures - o During damping down operations PPE including SCBA must be worn. Use thermal imaging camera (TIC) for locating hot spots to prevent un-necessary damage/disruption to the asbestos. Safety of the public is also paramount. Those downwind should be considered at risk and liaison with the Safety Officer should take place. Depending on quantities involved C:\Users\klambert\Desktop\Burnaby OG Hazmat - Hazardous Substances(ASBESTOS).doc 4

5 evacuation may be required, if so liaise with the RCMP, but generally advise to remain inside with doors and windows closed is sufficient. Responder Decontamination o Where asbestos is involved it is important to recognize at an early stage that decontamination will be necessary and therefore limiting the number of personnel that could become contaminated. Under no circumstances should any equipment or clothing be carried on apparatus until it has been properly decontaminated or properly bagged to prevent further exposure. Cleanup activities should ensure that asbestos containing debris is handled in a manner to prevent release of fibres. In incidents where PPE/equipment has been contaminated by asbestos, initial decontamination is best accomplished at the scene by washing PPE/equipment using scrub brushes and detergent, and a low pressure water application system. The process is as follows: 1. Responder leaves the incident area into a designated area referred to as the decontamination area. This decontamination area must be delineated using asbestos barrier tape. 2. Responder must remain in full PPE and RPE during decontamination process (also referred to as shower down ) within the decontamination area. Additional responder must assist with the decontamination process. During the decontamination process both of the responders must be equipped in full PPE and RPE. a. Brushes and detergent available on Rescue 1 and Rescue 2. If concentrations to be dealt with during clean up are significant, the asbestos waste will all be in one area (within the decontamination area) and the responsibility to dispose of the waste materials will fall to the property owner/insurance company. b. In the event where the responder is alone, an additional worker is to equip PPE and prior to assisting in washing off the debris. 3. Once all debris has been washed off thoroughly, the Responder may leave the decontamination area. Once they have left the area, they may remove their PPE. 4. (If necessary) A HEPA vacuum may be used concurrently during the decontamination process. The Officer in Charge shall have the Firefighters seal their PPE on-scene in the bags provided to prevent transfer of fibres to the apparatus and fire station. (Large yellow/red DECON plastic bags, labelled with black marker with Employee Name and department equipment number, date bagged, and contaminant exposed to. Transport to Fire Station for machine washing C:\Users\klambert\Desktop\Burnaby OG Hazmat - Hazardous Substances(ASBESTOS).doc 5

6 The PPE shall be maintained wet until thorough washing can be completed. For further PPE washing instructions, consult the Burnaby Fire Department Occupational Health and safety Program Manual, section B-8, located in the Fire station libraries; If members of the public are contaminated with asbestos the Incident Commander should advise accordingly and consider standard Decon procedures. IMPORTANT NOTE! Double-bagging of the sealed impervious poly bags must occur to minimize the potential of becoming punctured (which may cause asbestos fibre release). SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURE HAZMAT RESPONSE The same procedures as outlined above but with additional Hazmat recognized personnel supervising/performing Decon in appropriate Hazmat level suits and gloves. If members of the public are contaminated with asbestos the Incident Commander should advise accordingly and consider standard Decon procedures. 5. DOCUMENTATION Asbestos risk assessments must be maintained for at least ten (10) years as per Section 6.32 of the WSBC. All other documentation such as training and instruction certifications and written work procedures must be maintained for at least three (3) years as per Section 6.32 of the WSBC OHSR. All documentation shall be kept in an easily accessible area and all workers involved with asbestos work must be informed of the location of these documents. C:\Users\klambert\Desktop\Burnaby OG Hazmat - Hazardous Substances(ASBESTOS).doc 6

7 C:\Users\klambert\Desktop\Burnaby OG Hazmat - Hazardous Substances(ASBESTOS).doc 7

8 C:\Users\klambert\Desktop\Burnaby OG Hazmat - Hazardous Substances(ASBESTOS).doc 8 REFERENCE: Signature: Date of Issue: October 2011 This O.G. Replaces: Date of Replacement:

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