Companies have known about the risks associated with asbestos exposure for many years. Yet, it is not only those manufacturers that used it in their products that ignored the risks.
Many employers knowingly exposed their workers to asbestos yet failed to do enough to protect them.
Employers are responsible for your safety
When someone employs you, they take on responsibility for your safety. While laws have become more comprehensive and specific over time, employers always had a duty to keep their workers safe. Here are three things an employer may have failed to do:
- Train you on the dangers of asbestos: Making you aware a threat exists and ensuring you know how to minimize the risk is crucial in all areas of work. It applies to all workplace hazards, not just asbestos.
- Provide appropriate personal protection equipment: When dealing with such a toxic substance, employers need to provide workers with high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) approved for use with asbestos. Not all masks are created equal. Saving a few dollars by buying cheaper PPE could cost someone their life.
- Take measures to reduce a contamination risk: Companies that expected workers to take their asbestos-contaminated work clothes home to their wife to wash put the worker’s whole family at risk. Many family members now suffer from asbestos-related illnesses due to secondary exposure. Employers need to provide areas for workers to remove their contaminated clothing and arrange for its washing.
Bringing a claim for asbestos-related illness can be challenging, as employers may try to shift the blame onto someone else or say they did not know asbestos was so dangerous. Having help to hold someone responsible will be crucial.