The danger of asbestos is greatest when the material itself gets disturbed and all of the microscopic dust particles get into the air. Therefore, while having it removed is wise, that's actually when the risk level is highest.
As such, when you hire a professional team to do the removal, you need to know that they're taking all of the proper steps to keep you and anyone else in the building safe. Signing a contract is a good way to begin so that everyone is on the same page.
Below are a few things that contract should include:
- The work plan. What type of removal tactics and tools will be used?
- The cleanup process. Even when the bulk of the material is gone, the space needs to be thoroughly cleaned to remove that potentially dangerous dust.
- How the company will follow the laws and regulations. These have been laid out at the local, state and federal level.
- How removal itself will be carried out. What procedures will be used? Why were they selected? How do they protect you?
- What notifications have to be given out.
- How the disposal will be done.
- What the end of the job really looks like. Does the contractor need to sign another legal agreement at the end verifying that the asbestos is gone and the danger has been eliminated?
Having all of this paperwork in place helps on two levels. First, it allows you to hire a truly professional crew that has your best interests in mind. Second, if there is a problem in the future, the documents help your legal case. If the contractor is negligent and doesn't follow safety procedures, for instance, a signed contract laying out those procedures helps show that a duty of care was owed.
Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency, "Protect Your Family," accessed Nov. 10, 2017