Policies & Procedures



Environment, Health, & Safety


Asbestos Procedures (12 NYCRR Part 56)

Date: May 22, 2003
Prepared by: Environmental Health Office


(Statutory Authority: Labor Law Section 906)

Part 56 of Title 12 of the State of New York Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations

Note: Section 30 of the Labor Law sets forth procedures and standards which must be met by parties who desire to obtain variations of any of the requirements of this (Part) rule.

Subpart 56-1 General Provisions

Section 56-1.1 Title and Citation

Within and for the purposes of the Department of Labor, this Part (rule) may be known as Industrial Code Rule No. 56, relating to hazards to the public safety and health, during the removal, encapsulation, enclosure, or the disturbance of friable asbestos, or any handling of asbestos material that may result in the release of asbestos fiber. It may be cited as Rule 56 Asbestos as an alternative and without prejudice to its designation and citation established by the Secretary of State.

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Section 56-1.4 Definitions

As used in or in connection with this Part (rule) the following terms mean:
(partial excerpts)

  • (g) Amended water. Water to which a surfactant has been added.
  • (n) Asbestos material. Any material containing more than one percent by weight of asbestos.
  • (o) Asbestos project. Work undertaken by a contractor which at any time involves any aspect of the removal, encapsulation, enclosure or disturbance of friable asbestos, or any handling of asbestos material that may result in the release of asbestos fiber, except work in an owner-occupied single family dwelling performed by the owner of such dwelling. An asbestos project shall include the planning, design, monitoring, inspection and air sampling of abatement work, as well as the supervising of such activities.
  • (q) Asbestos waste. Asbestos material or asbestos contaminated objects requiring disposal pursuant to any applicable State or Federal law or regulation.
  • (w) Cleanup. The utilization of HEPA vacuuming and/or wet cleaning to control and eliminate accumulations of asbestos material and asbestos waste material.
  • (al) Friable. That condition of crumbled, pulverized, powdered, crushed or exposed asbestos which is capable of being released into the air by hand pressure.
  • (am) Friable material containment. The encapsulation or enclosure of any friable asbestos material.
  • (an) Glovebag technique. A method for removing asbestos material from heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts, piping runs, valves, joints, elbows, and other nonplanar surfaces. The glovebag assembly is a manufactured device consisting of a glovebag constructed of at least six-mil transparent plastic, two inward-projecting long-sleeved gloves, which may contain an inward projecting water wand sleeve, an internal tool pouch, and an attached, labeled receptacle or portion for asbestos waste. The glovebag is constructed and installed in such a manner that it surrounds the object or area to be decontaminated and contains all asbestos fibers released during the abatement process.
  • (ao) HEPA filter. A high efficiency particulate air filter capable of trapping and retaining 99.97 percent of asbestos fibers greater than 0.3 microns equivalent aerodynamic diameter.
  • (ap) HEPA vacuum equipment. Vacuuming equipment with a high efficiency particulate air filtration system.
  • (aw) Minor asbestos project. An asbestos project involving the removal, disturbance, repair, encapsulation, enclosure or handling of 10 square feet or less of asbestos or asbestos material, or 25 linear feet or less of asbestos or asbestos material.
    Note: Operations and maintenance certification permits the holder to work only on minor asbestos projects as defined in section 56-1.4 of this Part. Any person who performs operations, maintenance and repair activities of small scale and short duration which may disturb asbestos or asbestos material shall possess a valid operations and maintenance certificate shall have such certificate or a copy thereof in his/her possession at all times while working on the project.
  • (bm) Removal. The stripping of any asbestos material.
  • (bn) Repair. Corrective action using required work practices to control fiber release from damaged asbestos material.
  • (bv) Surfactant. A chemical wetting agent added to water to improve its penetration.
  • (bz) Wet cleaning. The process of eliminating asbestos contamination from surfaces, equipment or other objects by using cloths, mops, or other cleaning tools which have been dampened with amended water.

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56-1.6.1 Notice and Recordkeeping Requirements

  1. Recordkeeping.
    1. Detail. Every contractor shall maintain for at least 30 years a record of each asbestos project in which the contractor engages. Such record shall include the following information:
      1. the name, address, social security number and asbestos certificate number of the person who supervised the asbestos project;
      2. the location and description of the asbestos project;
      3. the amount of asbestos or asbestos material that was removed, enclosed, encapsulated, disturbed or handled;
      4. the commencement and completion date of the asbestos project;
      5. the name and address of the deposit or waste disposal site or sites where the asbestos waste material was deposited or disposed of;
      6. the name and address of any sites that were used for the interim storage of asbestos or asbestos wastes materials prior to final deposit or disposal;
      7. the name and address of any transporters that were used to transport asbestos or asbestos material;
      8. the name, address, social security number and asbestos license or certificate number of all persons who were engaged on that portion of the asbestos project for which the contractor has responsibility; and
      9. any other information which the commissioner may require on a form and according to instructions provided by the commissioner.

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Section 56-8.3 Minor asbestos projects

  1. Vacation of work areas. All project areas shall be vacated by the occupants prior to work area preparation and until full abatement has been achieved.
  2. Isolation of work area. The project area shall be isolated by cordoning it off with barrier tape or line and shall be accessible through only one entrance/exit.
  3. Signs. Caution signs shall be posted at any location and approaches to a location wherever airborne concentrations of asbestos may exceed ambient background levels. Signs shall be posted that permit a person to read the sign and take the necessary protective measures to avoid exposure.

56-15.4 Minor asbestos projects

If a glovebag or tent is used and fails or loses its integrity, the following procedures shall be required:

  1. Isolation barrier construction. An isolation barrier shall be constructed as follows:
    1. HVAC isolation. The HVAC systems shall be shut down immediately and all openings shall be sealed with at least six-mil fire-retardant plastic sheeting and duct tape.
    2. Uncontaminated areas. Passageways to uncontaminated areas of the building or structure shall be sealed with at least six-mil fire-retardant plastic sheeting and duct tape.
  2. Negative air pressure equipment ventilation. Negative air pressure equipment ventilation that complies with Subpart 56-6 of this Part shall be installed and utilized.
  3. Cleanup. Cleanup shall be accomplished as follows:
    1. Method, tools and equipment. All accumulations of asbestos waste material shall be containerized. Metal shovels or HEPA vacuums may be used to pick up or move waste, except in the vicinity of any isolation barriers which could be breached. The areas around the isolation barriers shall be cleaned utilizing rubber or plastic dust pans, squeegees or shovels. HEPA vacuums shall be used to clean all surfaces after gross cleanup.
    2. Cleanup of surfaces. All surfaces in the work area shall be first wet-cleaned using rages, mops and sponges.
    3. Second cleaning. After the first cleaning, at least 12 hours shall be allowed for asbestos to settle. Thereafter, all objects and surfaces in the work area shall be HEPA-vacuumed and/or wet-cleaned. The isolation barrier shall be breached for entry and exit with minimal frequency and shall be resealed immediately. All windows, doors, HVAC system vents and all other openings shall remain sealed.
  4. Removal of contaminated equipment and waste. Contaminated equipment and all containerized waste shall be removed from the work area.
  5. Clearance air monitoring. Clearance air monitoring, as per the schedule for air sampling and analysis shall be conducted.
  6. Removal of isolation barrier. The isolation barrier shall be removed only after satisfactory clearance air monitoring results have been achieved.

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Subpart 56-16 Minor Project Procedures

Section 56-16.1 General requirements

  1. Types. Corrective actions shall be performed using nonasbestos material. Such actions shall include enclosure patch-up, spot removal, spot patch-up and spot encapsulation.
  2. (b) Glovebag use. Glovebag operations shall be performed using commercially available glovebags of at least six mil, transparent plastic and no larger than needed.
    1. Size. When abating pipe insulation, the pipe insulation diameter worked shall not exceed one half the bag working length.
    2. Sealing. Duct tape shall be placed securely around the affected area to form a smooth seal. The glovebag shall then be secured to the duct tape and sealed airtight.
    3. Seal testing. The glovebag seal shall be subjected to and pass a smoke test a follows:
      1. Aspirate the contents of a smoke tube through the water port access of the bag.
      2. After twist-sealing the access port, the bag shall be squeezed gently and checked for any leakage points, which shall be taped airtight.
    4. Surface irregularities. If the material adjacent to the work section is damaged, or if it terminates, is jointed or contains an irregularity adjacent to the work section, the material shall be wrapped in at least six-mil fire-retardant plastic sheeting and sealed airtight with duct tape.
    5. Amended water. All asbestos material within the secured glovebag shall be wetted with amended water prior to stripping.
    6. Post-stripping wetting. After the asbestos material has been stripped, the surfaces from which it has been removed shall be saturated with amended water and scrubbed with a brush to remove all visible asbestos material. The surfaces from which it has been removed, the interior of the gab, the affected area and tools shall then be thoroughly wetted with amended water.
    7. Sealing of pipe ends. When abating pipe insulation, any pipe insulation ends created shall be sealed with wettable cloth, end caps, spray glue or any compatible combination of these.
    8. Collapsing of the glovebag. A HEPA vacuum shall be used to collapse the glovebag.
    9. Tool segregation. With the glovebag collapsed and the asbestos material in the bottom of the bag, twist the bag several times and tape the twist to seal that section. The tool pouch shall be separated from the bag by twisting it several times, taping the twist and thus sealing the pouch. Alternatively, the tools may be pulled through with one or both glove inserts, thus turning the gloves inside out. The gloves shall then be twisted several times, taped and thus sealed.
    10. Containerizing the glovebag. At least a six-mil plastic bag shall be used to contain the glovebag while it is still attached to the affected area. The bag shall then be detached from the affected area by removing the duct tape.
    11. Sealing of contaminated items. The glovebag shall be placed into at least a six-mil plastic bag, sealed airtight and removed from the project area for disposal.
  3. Tent Construction. Corrective actions on area emplaced asbestos material shall be performed using a constructed or commercially available plastic tent. The tent shall be of at least six-mil fire retardant plastic sheeting with double-folded seams. Seams shall be taped airtight and then taped flush with the adjacent tent wall. (Wall and floor layers overlap, ceiling and walls.)
  4. Tent use. When utilizing a tent, the following shall be required:
    1. Personal protective equipment. Persons shall don disposable protective clothing. Authorized visitors entering the tent shall first don NIOSH-approved respiratory protection.
    2. Exhausting the tent. A HEPA vacuum shall be used to continuously exhaust the tent.
    3. Amended water. All material to be removed shall be saturated with amended water as specified in this Part. (Surfactant.)
    4. Abatement procedures. Asbestos material shall be removed and sealed in plastic bags prior to removal from the tent. Edges of asbestos material remaining shall be encapsulated or sealed with wettable cloth.
    5. Cleanup. The entire project area and the plastic tent (and self) shall be wet cleaned. The HEPA vacuum shall be operated for a minimum of 20 minutes following completion of the wet cleaning. (Self stays in.)
    6. Sealing of surfaces and edges. The substrate from which asbestos was removed and any exposed edges shall be sealed with encapsulant.
    7. Removal of personal protective equipment. The persons' disposable protective clothing shall be removed and left in the tent upon exiting.
    8. Exiting procedures. After exiting the tent, persons shall immediately don clean protective clothing. Persons shall then seal the tent exit and, upon tent collapse, shut down the HEPA vacuum.
    9. Collapsing and containerizing the tent. The plastic sheeting which formed the tent, and the contents thereof, shall be fully collapsed, starting from the top and working downward. The tent and contents shall be placed in at least a six-mil plastic bag or hard wall container, sealed with duct tape and removed for disposal.
    10. Showering. Persons shall proceed immediately to a shower for decontamination.

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Contact Information

Cathleen Eldridge, Director
Phone: 564-5009
Fax: 564-5082
Email: [email protected]

Location and Hours:
136A Service Building
Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm