Often it is the unprotected worker that may be subjected to handling asbestos and other hazards. Continued exposure to asbestos is associated with several serious medical conditions, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. However, short-term exposure may still pose a threat and lead to shortness of breath, wheezing and other medical symptoms.
Unsafe Removal and Violations
Investigations into the removal and disposal of asbestos have found multiple contractors involved in construction, erection of buildings and demolition are intentionally violating removal or handling of asbestos material. The safety standards are being ignored in many cases. The investigations have been relayed to federal agencies and they discovered that these violations show a lack of regard for the issues of health that arise through these actions. Serious disease is a consequence of asbestos exposure, and these companies are disregarding safety protocols. Various businesses are being found culpable of these offenses as well as violations of the Clean Air Act. Workplace regulations requiring the appropriate shedding, bagging, elimination and dumping of asbestos materials are revealed with these investigations.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are uncovering company violations of appropriate asbestos material removal. The same inappropriate removal processes have been discovered in the country all across America. These offenses may lead to the business being shut down or a full investigation being launched to uncover what other OSHA violations have occurred.
Using unlicensed workers through a contracting agency is another common way that companies expose workers to these dangers. When laborers are untrained or work under unacceptable standards, they may also violate OSHA standards. OSHA has regulations that require proper documentation procedures. Guidelines given by this administration state that proper clothing and breathing apparatuses should be made available to staff that must handle asbestos. It is vital the hazardous material is disposed of properly with all care and caution by everyone that is involved in the removal process.
In one instance, the EPA found over 1,800 feet of ground asbestos fibers in unlabeled bags in Michigan. The building the material was removed from was once a consumer energy plant. The demolishing prompted the removal. This was one of the greatest asbestos violations in 40 years. It cost over $1 million and about 30 trucks to remove and dump the asbestos in a safe area.
Professionals to Hire
There are two key kinds of credited asbestos professionals that may be hired to handle asbestos removal. Asbestos inspectors may visit a home or building. They evaluate situations, take samples of potentially hazardous material for extensive testing and advise inhabitants about needed alterations. If renovation or elimination of asbestos items is necessary, inspectors may safeguard any hired contracted agent to follow appropriate processes to include monitoring the breathable air for safety and quality while the removal and cleanup are in process and after the point of removal. Asbestos contracted agents must be trained and use acceptable standards required by federal law. In some states, regulations may not apply to home asbestos contracted agents. It is important to guarantee the agent hired is able to handle asbestos material with proper training and accepted standards.
Clean Air Act
It was in 1971 that the EPA affirmed asbestos to be a danger. The agency explained there are no safe levels of exposure. Safety regulations on a federal level and the Clean Air Act require removal of asbestos in a contained and appropriate manner. It must be bagged and hand-removed. The EPA mandated the procedures to reduce airborne toxins and remove risk to workers.
Professions with Asbestos Exposure
Any person working with buildings and construction, automobiles, the railways and shipbuilding companies have a much greater potential for exposure to asbestos. These work locations may expose a worker to asbestos. Those who are exposed to asbestos may develop diseases related to the material. Some potential diseases may include asbestos pleural disease, asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. If these issues arise, it is best to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer who is familiar with conditions related to asbestos.
It is not just the workers that may be exposed to this dangerous material. When the dust or particles cover clothing, shoes, skin and hair, they may cause family and friends to be infected with the fibers. A personal injury lawyer can assess a claim to determine if a personal injury suit may be viable.