Asbestos Abatement Efforts Help Protect Detroit's Demolition Crews from Dangerous Conditions

Demolition crane operator wears respiratory protection to reduce asbestos exposure on the job in Detroit

Photos from recent structure demolition job sites show how seriously Detroit-based Homrich takes worker safety and protection. As they completed part of a large-scale neighborhood revitalization project, even the crane operator wears a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) and protective suit when tearing down older homes built with asbestos-containing materials.

According to Homrich, approximately 2,700 vacant or blighted publicly owned houses in Detroit will be demolished by the end of 2019. With 18,000 abandoned houses currently in Detroit, the city is seeking to put an end to residential blight in its neighborhoods and plans to ramp up demolition efforts next year if a blight removal bond is passed in 2020. The goal is to demolish 4,000 houses a year through 2024.

  1. Most of these homes were built prior to 1981, when asbestos was still commonly found in household materials such as pipe and ceiling insulation and vinyl flooring.
  2. Contractors are required by OSHA to assume that thermal system insulation and sprayed-on or troweled-on surfacing materials (such as fireproofing or decorative wall plaster) contain asbestos if these materials are found in buildings constructed prior to 1981.
  3. Asbestos abatement efforts are necessary when demolishing buildings and demolition contractors need to ensure their workers have access to adequate respiratory protection on any jobsite where asbestos is known to be present or suspected to be present.
  4. According to the National Demolition Association: “Safe removal of asbestos usually requires respirators, liquid wetting agents, a negative air pressure enclosure and special training to prevent worker and building occupant exposure to the microscopic fibers.”

Demolition Crane Operator with supplied air respirator for asbestos abatementDemolition Crane Operator with supplied air respirator for asbestos abatementDemolition Crane Operator with supplied air respirator for asbestos abatementDemolition Crane Operators Demolish Unused Structures in Detroit, MichiganDemolition Crane Operators Demolish Unused Structures in Detroit, MichiganAsbestos abatement at a residential demolition job site in Detroit, Michigan

Keep Them Coming Back to Work All Career Long with PPE that Includes PAPR

The long-term health effects of asbestos and other contaminants have been proven time and again and it just makes sense to protect workers helping to clean it up. In addition to wearing a protective suit which provides barrier protection against hazardous dry particles, the crane operator at work on the Homrich jobsites shown is wearing one of our RPB Z-Link helmet respirators with PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator) breathing tube.

Organizations such as the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health consider powered air purifying respirators like this one to be “more protective and more comfortable” than half-face or full-face negative pressure masks.

Check out our comprehensive line of supplied air respirators and accessories and give us a call at 248.221.8076 with any questions.

Source Links:

  1. The Next Step: Detroit Aims To Be Free Of Residential Blight By The End Of 2024 | City of Detroit Web Site
  2. Asbestos Standard for the Construction Industry | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - U.S. Department of Labor
  3. Asbestos Guidance & Regulations | National Demolition Association
  4. NYCOSH Asbestos Fact Sheet #6 - Respirators: Information for Asbestos Workers | New York Committee For Occupational Safety and Health

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