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Section C.14
University of South Carolina Safety Program Guide

Asbestos is a generic term used to describe any of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals. Because of several desirable characteristics, asbestos was incorporated into a number of widely used products, including:

  • Sprayed on fire proofing and insulation in buildings
  • Insulation for pipes and boilers
  • Wall and ceiling insulation
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Floor tiles
  • Putties, caulks, and cements (such as in chemical carrying cement pipes)
  • Roofing shingles
  • Siding shingles on old residential buildings
  • Wall and ceiling texture in older buildings and homes
  • Joint compound in older buildings
  • Plasters
  • Brake linings and clutch pads

* this listing is not complete
By the mid 1980’s most products containing asbestos had been removed from the market.
There is potential for exposure only when the material becomes damaged (e.g., torn or missing pipe insulation coverings).   When left intact and undisturbed, these materials do not pose a health risk to building occupants. If powdered or friable forms of asbestos are disturbed, fibers may become airborne resulting in a possible inhalation hazard. In nonfriable asbestos products (e.g., floor tiles, roofing materials, etc.) the fibers are bound in a matrix which prevents their release to the air unless the material is cut or abraded. Therefore, these materials present even less of an exposure hazard.
In many cases it is not possible to readily distinguish between asbestos and non-asbestos forms of the same product (e.g., pipe insulation, fireproofing, etc.). In general, laboratory analysis is required to confirm whether or not a material contains asbestos.

USC departments and regional campuses that are responsible for management of renovation or demolition projects, or employee maintenance/custodial staff where asbestos is present, must follow these procedures. 

Written Asbestos Management Program

EHS has developed a template that can be downloaded and used as a basis for a written program. The purpose of this program is to establish internal procedure for compliance OSHA and SCDHEC requirements related to asbestos.
The most current template can be downloaded here: Written Asbestos Management Program Template

Asbestos Surveys

Prior to building renovation or demolition projects, the Project Manager is responsible for arranging for a survey to determine if asbestos-containing building material is present in the work area and if so, whether it will be impacted by the planned work.
Requests for asbestos surveys must be forwarded to Facility Services.  A Request for Asbestos Survey Form must accompany each work order for asbestos surveys. It is very important that you accurately describe the scope of work and list all building materials that will be disturbed during the renovation.  Accurate completion of this form ensures that the inspector assigned to the job has all the information needed to conduct a thorough survey.

The most current Request for Asbestos Survey Form can always be download here: FORM 1 – Request for Asbestos Survey


When contractors are hired to perform work at USC, they must be informed of the presence and location of asbestos materials they may encounter.  Contractors must be given a copy any asbestos surveys performed in association with the work.  Furthermore, contractors must sign that they have received and understand the survey, agree not to disturb any building materials not listed on the survey, and that they are responsible for ensuring that any subcontractors they hire are made aware of the contents of the survey. 
To accomplish this, complete and have the contractor sign a Permit to Work form.  To verify that the project has been surveyed and all the required documentation is in place, a Permit Placard must also be completed, signed and posted in a conspicuous locaton at the jobsite.
The most current Permit to Work form and Permit Placard form can be downloaded here:FORM 2 – Permit to Work (Contractor Signoff)
FORM 3 – Permit Placard

Removal of Asbestos Materials

The removal of asbestos materials is highly regulated by OSHA and SCDHEC and may only be conducted by trained, licensed personnel using specific work practices and control measures.
Most asbestos removals can be conducted by trained and licensed personnel in Facility Services.

If you decide to hire an asbestos contractor, you are required to notify EHS before work begins. Complete an Asbestos Work Notification form and fax it to EHS @ 777-5275. FORM 4 – Asbestos Work Notification

Removing carpeting that has been installed over asbestos floor tiles can sometimes break the tiles, depending upon how tightly bonded the carpeting is to the tiles. If breakage occurs, this may cause the project to become regulated by OSHA and DHEC.
EHS has developed checklists to help evaluate regulatory compliance for a variety of classifications of asbestos work.

Maintenance Activities
Some maintenance activities may pose a risk of disturbing asbestos containing materials. For example, repairing fan coil units above a ceiling grid near spray-applied fireproofing may pose a risk of incidental disturbance. Using information from asbestos awareness training, maintenance personnel are expected to evaluate each maintenance task and assess the potential for the disturbance of asbestos materials. When in doubt, contact EHS (777-5269) or Facility Services (777-4217).
All maintenance and custodial personnel at USC are required to attend Asbestos Awareness training annually. This training is included in the annual safety training program conducted by EHS, so employees who have attended this training have satisfied the requirement. Upon request, EHS can also conduct this training at your worksite.


Department/Regional Campus

  • Develop and implement a written Asbestos Management Program.
  • Ensure that asbestos surveys are conducted prior to renovation/demolition projects, contractors are properly notified, and that asbestos abatement/disturbance is conducted by training/licensed personnel.
  • Notify EHS prior to work involving the disturbance of asbestos materials.
  • Ensure that maintenance work is evaluated for potential to disturb asbestos materials.
  • Ensure that all maintenance/custodial personnel receive Asbestos Awareness training annually.


  • Review Asbestos Management Programs annually.
  • Provide assistance and consultation to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Conduct Asbestos Awareness training for University employees.

For More Information
EHS Contact

  • Contact the EHS Industrial Hygienist ( Ken Mixon) at 777-4995



  • Each regional campus is encouraged to have a campus-wide, comprehensive asbestos survey conducted. This information should be made available for all university personnel (particularly maintenance and custodial staff) and contractors.
  • Damaged asbestos-containing material should be reported to the appropriate facility management department (if at USC-Columbia, contact Facility Services @ 777-4217. EHS is also available to assist in determining whether a suspect material contains asbestos and to perform hazard assessments.

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