It may surprise you to learn that most K-12 schools built before 1980 contain some form of asbestos. Although asbestos is very effective as a fireproofing agent, it is no longer considered a safe building material. When inhaled over long periods of time, the fibrous particles in asbestos can be hazardous and may cause serious diseases, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

An asbestos management plan is crucial to ensure the health and safety of school occupants and to prevent the release of asbestos fibers. If you’re ready to create an asbestos management plan, utilizing asbestos management software might be worth considering.

Asbestos is often found in ceiling tiles, flooring, duct work, insulation, and ceilings, which makes it hard to track. Schools can use FMX as an asbestos surveying software to ensure their team follows a careful management plan.

Thankfully, FMX has a handful of solutions to prevent asbestos exposure to maintenance staff, students, teachers, and community members. With FMX, schools can:

  • Identify and track asbestos-containing areas and equipment
  • Avoid damaging ACBM during routine maintenance
  • Make it easier to follow proper asbestos abatement procedure
  • Track the condition of ACBM over time
  • Inform stakeholders (maintenance, teachers, parents, etc.) of the location of suspected ACBM
  • Schedule inspections and document relevant details 
  • Maintain a log of any staff who enter an area or complete maintenance with equipment near ACBM
  • Comply with government regulations for asbestos management in K-12 schools 

1. Map and inform staff of asbestos locations

Visually document where nonfriable suspected asbestos-containing building material (ACBM) is located with FMX’s Interactive Mapping feature.

FMX users can upload building floor plans and clearly document asbestos-affected areas by easily dropping pins on the map. With Interactive Mapping, any user in FMX can see suspected asbestos locations. Once those asbestos-riddled areas are identified, users will know to follow proper equipment maintenance protocol.

Interactive Mapping ensures maintenance technicians are in the know on asbestos locations and can follow proper preventive protocols to avoid disturbing asbestos. This feature can also be an extremely beneficial tool to onboard or train employees who are new to the building.

2. Adhere to EPA regulations and inspections 

Schools can use FMX’s preventive maintenance features to adhere to the Environmental Protection Agency‘s Asbestos Hazard Emergency Act (AHERA) regulations, enabling FMX to act as an asbestos management software.  

The EPA requires “accredited inspectors [to] reinspect schools every one to three years to assess the condition of ACM.” They also expect bi-annually ACM visual inspections by trained custodians or maintenance workers. Using FMX, schools can schedule routine time-based inspections for all buildings in the district and assign trained staff to these tasks to maintain building and student safety. 

Stakeholders can also create and add instruction sets for proper inspection and safety protocols. With the information available at their fingertips, any trained professional who completes the inspection will be equipped with the instructions they need. 

The EPA also suggests documenting visual records of asbestos over time. Within FMX, users can record notes or attach photos and videos of current conditions during inspection directly on the open request. In the future, if an organization needs to view previous inspection notes or images, they can see all historical details of past inspections completed.

3. Prevent damage to ACBM

If there is a possibility any equipment or asset contains (or is adjacent to) an ACBM, users can clearly document this in FMX by creating a custom field, such as a checkmark, to note the affected equipment. 

Users can set up visibility fields to gather additional information on the affected equipment, such as images of ACBM conditions or additional notes. This informs maintenance technicians of suspected ACBM when they respond to, and resolve, open work orders for affected equipment and areas. Ultimately, this protects ACBM from unnecessary damage. 

By using custom and visibility fields, schools can inform technicians when they submit work orders for asbestos equipment, giving the technicians the information they need to follow prevention protocol.

4. Asbestos abatement management software

If asbestos is disturbed and released, FMX can also organize and help coordinate the damaged ACBM abatement. Users can streamline and manage this using FMX’s Project Request feature.

Users can add custom fields to collect all relevant information to uphold the proper procedure of disposal of friable asbestos.

Some additional fields within the software include: 

  • The amount of ACM (square footage or linear footage) designated for removal
  • A checkbox confirming seals for windows, doorways, or other openings
  • A checkbox indicating barricaded areas and restricted entry
  • A checkbox confirming posted signage
  • The name and signature of the project monitor 
  • The project monitor OSHA license number
  • The name and signature of waste transporter/hauler

5. Centralize and organize documentation

With FMX, ensure you never lose previous inspection details and have properly documented asbestos locations in one centralized system. You can gather work and inspection logs for areas or equipment affected by ACBM and attach it to a Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment (HARA) report, which acts as asbestos surveying software. 

Districts can even use FMX to provide the EPA with a detailed work log of school maintenance completed near ACBM, ACBM damage prevention protocol, and regulatory inspection logs and details. For example, organizations can maintain a log of staff that has completed maintenance in areas with suspected ACBM, signatures, and work order resolution details.

Lastly, FMX can organize and schedule asbestos training throughout the district and document previous training dates and details.

With FMX, organizations can easily and clearly document ACBM locations, inspection details, prevention protocol, and manage asbestos abatement plans to ensure the safety of their students and staff remains a top priority. 

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