COVID-19 and the "Safer at Home" Emergency Order
We've compiled the links below with the people, businesses, and other agencies we partner with to prevent exposure to asbestos in Wisconsin, in mind. We hope this information is helpful to you as you navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergency restrictions in effect on gatherings and non-essential business activities.
- The latest info on COVID-19 from the Department of Health Services, including Wisconsin-specific data and guidance on how to protect yourself and others
- Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" emergency order, which requires closure of non-essential businesses and specifies social distancing requirements, effective March 25 at 8 a.m
- An FAQ on the order from the Office of the Governor
- Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) guidance on determining which businesses are considered essential
- WEDC resources to help businesses mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and the measures our community is taking to slow its spread
- Information on unemployment benefits from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) for employees out of work or working reduced hours because of COVID-19
- Guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 and preventing worker exposure to the virus from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration
- Lead and Asbestos Certification Program hours and service information, with details of the measures we're taking to provide flexibility for individuals due for refresher training during this time
A new asbestos abatement notification system is here! Visit our Project Notification webpage to learn more.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services' (DHS) Asbestos Program helps protect people from exposure to asbestos from building renovations and demolitions by ensuring proper training and certification for persons and companies conducting regulated asbestos work.
To report unsafe asbestos or lead work in your community here, fill out the form on our reporting page, or call 608-261-6876.
Why is asbestos a concern?
Exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer. Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has often been added to various building products to strengthen them, provide heat insulation, and make them fire resistant. When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed during building maintenance, renovation, or demolition activities, fibers can be released into the air people breathe.
How does DHS protect people in Wisconsin from asbestos exposure?
The DHS Asbestos Program regulates training and certification of individuals and companies doing asbestos-related work in Wisconsin. The DHS Asbestos Program is authorized to administer its asbestos certification and accreditation program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Asbestos Hazards Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan (MAP) regulation. Our work involves:
- Monitoring work sites to ensure contractors have prepared an Asbestos Occupant Protection Plan, F-44016 (PDF) and that work is conducted in a manner that protects the public health.
- Educating and assisting homeowners, contractors, property managers, and others on asbestos issues.
- Investigating complaints received from the public and stopping unsafe work.
- Monitoring work sites to make sure asbestos work is always done by trained and certified people, and that an Asbestos Abatement Project Log, F-02052 (PDF) of all individuals who enter the asbestos work area is maintained.
- Making sure that training programs for asbestos professionals meet standards.
- Certifying people who have received the proper training to work safely with asbestos.
We also work with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Air Management Program to regulate removal of large quantities of asbestos and pre-demolition asbestos removal.
The DHS Asbestos Program maintains contact information for the individual designated by each local education agency (LEA) in Wisconsin as its asbestos coordinator. A designated asbestos coordinator must be trained to ensure the LEA complies with asbestos-related rules. The LEA must notify DHS of the name and contact information for its designated asbestos coordinator each year by October 1 using the Designated Asbestos Coordinator, F-00047 (PDF) form.
Who needs to be certified?
All untested building materials other than wood, metal, glass, or fiberglass, as well as all vermiculite, tested or untested, are assumed to contain asbestos. With few exceptions, anyone whose work involves disturbing or removing asbestos-containing materials must be certified as an asbestos supervisor or asbestos worker, and work for a certified asbestos company.
Printable asbestos guidelines are available below for some of the common types of businesses whose work is likely to disturb asbestos-containing materials and therefore be affected by the Wisconsin asbestos regulations:
- Flooring Contractors, P-00043 (PDF)
- General Contractors and Trades, P-00044 (PDF)
- Rental Property Owners and Managers, P-00065 (PDF)
- Roofing and Siding Contractors, P-00042 (PDF)
- Weatherization Contractors, P-00041 (PDF)
In addition, anyone whose consulting work involves inspecting for or sampling suspect asbestos-containing materials, designing abatement activities or school response actions, or developing management plans must be certified as an asbestos inspector, project designer, and/or management planner, as appropriate.
For more information on getting certified in an asbestos discipline, see Getting Certified to Do Asbestos Work.
Questions? Can't find what you're looking for? Contact Asbestos Program staff.