The benefits of asbestos were a driving force behind its extensive use in manufacturing construction materials in past decades. Items such as ceiling and floor tiles commonly contain asbestos because of its resistance to heat and other valuable properties. It wasn’t until recent generations that doctors and scientists began making a correlation between asbestos exposure and certain types of cancer.
Asbestos particles are relatively harmless if you don’t disturb them. However, when they become airborne, such as when contractors renovate or demolish a building, you may accidentally inhale or swallow them. This is known to cause deadly diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and other lung cancers.
Protecting workers from exposure
Because of the dangers of airborne asbestos during renovation projects, laws protect workers like you by requiring contractors and developers to follow certain safety procedures. For example, recently a developer in Pennsylvania needed to remove thousands of asbestos floor tiles from a massive complex of buildings formerly used for research by the Westinghouse company. To safely remove any asbestos-containing products without endangering the workers contracted for the job, the minimum safety protocol requires the following:
- Approved protective suits for you and your fellow workers
- Breathing equipment for you and others in the contaminated area
- Air ventilation system to prevent contaminated air from escaping the affected areas
- Materials to seal off the building and its HVAC systems
- Processes to ensure you capture and contain asbestos waste before removing it for disposal
Unfortunately, the owner and developer of the mentioned property allegedly failed to provide those precautions for his workers. In fact, currently, he is facing accusations that he lied to one employee, assuring him there was no asbestos in the tiles, that the removal was legal and that he had a permit for the project.
Who pays the real price?
Asbestos removal may be expensive, and greed may motivate contractors to keep the truth from their workers. The tragic result is that the employees tasked with removing the asbestos-laden tiles suffered prolonged exposure to the toxic and potentially deadly substance. If you suffered similar exposure, diseases that consequently developed may have taken decades to reveal themselves. Unfortunately, when you started to notice the symptoms, there was little you or your doctor could do to change the outcome.
However, you and other workers who suffer from mesothelioma or other related illnesses because of on-the-job exposure to materials containing asbestos have the right to seek compensation. Compassionate and dedicated attorneys who focus their practices on recovering compensation for victims of mesothelioma and asbestosis can evaluate your case and will work tirelessly to assist you in seeking help for your medical bills and future care.