Environmental Health and Safety

Asbestos O & M Program



The purpose of the Asbestos Operations & Maintenance Program is to minimize the exposure of building occupants, maintenance and custodial personnel to airborne asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been historically used in certain products to improve functionality, such as heat or corrosion resistance. The fibers, which can be microscopic, can become airborne and be inhaled into the lungs. For more information on the health effects of asbestos, click here. This program has been designed to comply with applicable state and federal regulations pertaining to asbestos. Agencies with regulations applicable to asbestos work on campus include:

  • Virginia Department of Labor and Industy (VDOLI)
  • Virginia Department of General Services (DGS)
  • Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR)
  • Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration (OSHA)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


The O&M Program applies to all university owned properties, employees, and the public. The program shall remain in effect until all asbestos-containing materials (ACM) have been removed from all university properties. Leased properties shall include appropriate disclosures.


Requirements to minimize or eliminate postential exposure of building occupants and employees to asbestos includes:

  • Surveying and periodically assessing all suspect and known ACM to monitor the condition and ensure that it is maintained in an undamaged non-hazardous condition.
  • Providing guidance on asbestos project management to ensure renovation, construction or emergency maintenance activities are performed safely.
  • Ensuring the prompt cleanup of asbestos fibers accidentally released into the atmosphere.
  • Training individuals who may encounter ACM during their normal work activities.

Building Occupant Awareness

Occupants of buildings should presume that most building materials (e.g. ceiling tile, floor tile, wall materials, pipe insulation) contain some degree of asbestos, and should exercise caution to assure suspect ACM is not to be damaged or disturbed except under controlled conditions by trained personnel. Occupants may review asbestos-related building survey records for their building (or work area) by contacting their designated Departmental Safety Representative or EHS as follows:

Departmental contacts are notified of upcoming asbestos-related abatement projects via VT Repair notices. These notices explain the work that will be performed and the measures that will be taken to reduce the potential for exposure during the project. The person receiving the notice should share with building occupants prior to all abatement projects to determine whether additional precautionary measures may need to be addressed..

Health Effects

OSHA requires that personnel with potential exposure to asbestos be trained and informed of the health effects of asbestos exposure. Awareness level training is provided to housekeeping/custodial and maintenance staff which includes this information. For general health effect information, click here.