New York Asbestos Certification
What is Asbestos Certification in New York
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with distinct composition and flexible fibers. According to the New York State Department of Health, asbestos is a group of six fibrous minerals that occur naturally in the environment: amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite.
Asbestos fibers do not conduct electricity, and they are also resistant to fire, heat, and chemicals. Before New York's mesothelioma and asbestos laws were established, asbestos was widely used in building and construction. Over time, asbestos was used in strengthening cement and automotive, power generation, chemical production, electricity, etc.
Despite its practical use, however, asbestos causes a lot of terminal diseases. If inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers can get permanently stuck in someone's lungs, and it gets worse. After some time, the fibers result in inflammation and scarring, affecting breathing and leading to health challenges in the long run. Exclusively, asbestos exposure is the cause of an aggressive kind of cancer called mesothelioma. Due to its negative effects on human health, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have categorized asbestos as a known human carcinogen, meaning a substance that results in cancer.
As the federal government works to control and manage the use of asbestos across the country, New York State also has Asbestos Laws and Regulations governing the use of asbestos across the state. The exposure to asbestos in New York became very popular following the 9/11 attacks when the Twin Towers, which consisted of about 400 tons of asbestos fibers, were destroyed. While the Department of Health manages the training of workers in the asbestos abatement industry and regulates asbestos safety training providers, the New York State Department of Labor has regulations that support the public's health safety during the handling of any asbestos material that may release asbestos fibers. Meanwhile, the New York State Department of Environmental Conversation-Solid Waste Management Facilities deals with asbestos waste. In addition, the Department of Environmental Conservation-Waste Transporter Permits regulates waste transportation, issues transport permits, and focuses on asbestos transportation tracking.
How to Get New York Asbestos Certification?
Asbestos companies and contractors in New York must have gone through training and received certifications before receiving a license to operate. The state requires all asbestos companies and contractors to be licensed through the New York State Department of Labor Asbestos Licensing and Certification Unit. There are two steps to take to get New York Asbestos Certification.
- To attend training in any of the nine disciplines available with accredited New York State asbestos training providers.
- Apply for certification through the Department of Labor Asbestos Licensing and Certification Unit.
On the asbestos certificate application form, applicants will tick the box or boxes of the type/types of certificates of their interest. Notably, the application fee for each type of certificate varies. While asbestos handler goes for $50, an inspector certificate is $100.00. More information about the appropriate fees is on the form.
The asbestos certificate application must be sent to the Department of Labor along with the required fee, appendix to a license/certificate application, and proof of training.
There are training courses in nine disciplines for the handling, sampling, evaluation, and removal of materials that contain asbestos. The nine disciplines of certificates for asbestos workers are:
- Allied Trades: Anybody working on any asbestos project or who may have any form of contact with friable or non-friable asbestos while performing their jobs. For example, a carpenter, plumber, and so on.
- Operations and Maintenance: A person who does operations, maintenance, and repair activities that may interfere with asbestos materials, presumed asbestos-containing materials (PACM), or asbestos-containing materials (ACM). With the Operations and Maintenance certification, the holder will only be able to perform occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) class III asbestos work or asbestos-related projects.
- Asbestos Handler (Worker): Anyone who handles asbestos materials in a way that may lead to the release of asbestos fiber.
- Contractor/Supervisor: Supervises all persons, but authorized visitors can access the restricted area and regulated abatement work area. The person also performs the responsibilities of the OSHA person for the project.
- Inspector: In addition to collecting bulk samples of asbestos materials or suspected asbestos materials for the laboratory. The person also works on identifying, surveying, and assessing asbestos and asbestos materials conditions.
- Management Planner: An individual who identifies the dangers of present asbestos or asbestos materials. The person also suggests response actions and recommends a schedule for such response actions.
- Asbestos Project Air Sampling Technician: Focuses on project air sampling.
- Project Monitor: Apart from the asbestos abatement contractor's supervisor, this person is in charge of the scope, timing, phasing, and remediation methods required to complete asbestos projects.
- Project Designer: The planner of the scope, timing, phasing, and remediation techniques that would be used on asbestos projects.
People who are certified in another state but wish to operate in New York State need to read, complete, and submit a notarized Asbestos Safety Training Equivalency Application (DOH-4353). The purpose of the application is to determine if the out-of-state training meets the requirements of the Asbestos Safety Program. Such people will submit the non-New York issued certifications, government-issued ID cards, and other required documents. Even if the application gets approved, such individuals will have to attend and complete a New York State Refresher Course, after which they will be awarded a DOH Certificate of Asbestos Safety Training (DOH-2832). It is important that the DOH-2832 certificate is submitted to the Department of Labor when applying for certification.
For more information on asbestos company licensing and asbestos worker certification, interested persons should contact:
New York State Department of Labor
License and Certification Unit
State Office Campus
Albany, NY 12240
What Do Asbestos Inspectors Do in New York?
Asbestos inspectors in New York engage in the building of surveys for asbestos-containing materials. Also, the role of asbestos inspectors in the state of New York includes assessing the condition of asbestos and asbestos materials to determine potential hazards. Such individuals are also required to report and record their findings accordingly. Furthermore, asbestos inspectors are paid to garner samples of asbestos materials and suspected asbestos materials for analysis at the laboratory.
A state-certified asbestos inspector must first conduct a survey whenever a part of a building or the entire structure has to be repaired, renovated, or demolished in New York. The survey result will reveal if the outlined work will interfere with asbestos materials.
A person must have an "Inspector Certificate" issued by the New York State Department of Labor to qualify for asbestos investigator certification. In addition to the inspector certificate, such individuals must possess two years of working experience in building survey and hazard assessment for asbestos-containing materials and three years documented experience in building survey.
How to Become an Asbestos Surveyor in New York?
An asbestos surveyor in New York executes the same duties as an asbestos inspector. Such a person performs the tasks involved in a survey to identify and evaluate the risks associated with asbestos or materials that contain asbestos on any project.
Interested persons who desire to become an asbestos surveyor in New York State must have an inspector certificate, usually issued by the Department of Labor. There is an asbestos training schedule for the various certifications available, including the inspector courses. In addition, the applicants must have two years of documented working experience in building surveys and hazard assessments for asbestos-containing materials. Also, three years of other working experience related to building surveys are part of the requirements to become an asbestos surveyor in New York. However, in the absence of a documented year of experience, concerned parties may substitute technical college education and/or professional registration.
Online Asbestos Certification in New York
Anyone with contact with asbestos or any material that contains asbestos in New York must have received asbestos certification in the state. As earlier mentioned, there are accredited asbestos training providers across the state who offer courses on the nine types of certificates available. While some stick to just in-class training, others conduct online classes for people interested in asbestos certification. According to the course schedule, there are different start dates for each training. Also, some training providers conduct selected classes in other languages but English.
How Long are Asbestos Certificates Valid for in New York?
Asbestos certificates in New York are only valid for one calendar year, after which the certificate holder is required to take refresher training. The one-year validity remains regardless of the expiration date on the hard card. The certificate holder must take refresher training within 12 months for renewal.
Asbestos Certificate Renewal in New York
Asbestos certificate renewal in New York is done annually. After the certificate's expiration, the holder has the grace of one year to complete a refresher training. Anyone with an expired asbestos certificate who has not completed the refresher course cannot engage in any asbestos-related work. The same authorized training providers also handle the refresher training.
However, anyone who fails to take on and complete the refresher training within the one-year grace period, which is two years after the initial course of training, will have to start over again. Such persons will need to start afresh with the initial course as they are no longer eligible for refresher training.
Also, an applicant must return the current asbestos certificate and keep a photocopy of it during the renewal process.