Published: Jan 2007
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The ASTM Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Standards [1,2] do not provide any direction or guidance to the environmental professionals (EPs) with respect to health and safety issues. This fact should not be construed to imply that safety is not important or that it does not apply to the assessment activities. With Phase I ESA investigations the issues can be very basic and driven by common sense. For example, the EPs are not required by the Standard to enter confined spaces, and common sense tells the EPs not to engage in sniffing and taste testing of the contents of a 55-gallon industrial drum. However, there have been instances where EPs' safety was affected by factors not necessarily related to recognized environmental conditions (RECs). For example, an EP walked into an abandoned warehouse when the door stuck shut, and the EP was rescued several hours later only because her home office knew where to look for her.