On July 26, 2006 OSHA published a 5-page safety and health information bulletin warning auto mechanics that many brakes, clutches and gaskets contain asbestos, which can pose a serious hazard during normal repair work.
The bulletin had been ready for publication in March 2005, but the White House Office of Management and Budget ordered OSHA to shelve it, out of concern that its publication, by informing mechanics of the hazard, could result in lawsuits against auto and parts manufacturers for asbestos-related disease.
This bulletin is a matter-of-fact warning that brakes and clutches are still being made with asbestos, and workers need to protect themselves from the dust. For OMB and OSHA to suppress that information is inexcusable.
OSHA’s asbestos standard requires the use of controls and safe work practices when employees work with brake shoes and clutches that contain asbestos. These requirements are detailed in29 CFR 1910.1001 and specifically1910.1001(f)(3)and Appendix F of the standard – Work Practices and Engineering Controls for Automotive Brake and Clutch Inspection, Disassembly, Repair and Assembly(http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asbestos/index.html). The requirements also are discussed in OSHA Directives.
The safety and health information bulletin “Asbestos-Automotive Brake and Clutch Repair Work” is available at http://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib072606.html