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School takes action to protect students, faculty from asbestos

We often hear stories about companies and property owners who are negligent when it comes to removing dangerous asbestos materials from a certain location. Many of them try to get away with cutting corners by trying to ignore the hazards associated with asbestos, or they hire unqualified workers to remove the asbestos-containing products. Too often, this negligence results in exposing unsuspecting people to a potentially fatal toxin. While they know they may face legal action down the road, including a premises liability lawsuit, they end up deciding to take the easy way out.

Not all property owners in North Carolina and nationwide are this reckless and negligent when it comes to protecting people from a dangerous environment. As the dangers of asbestos continue to be reported, property and business owners are starting to take their responsibility to protect the people on site. One school in California has taken a proactive and cautious approach to removing asbestos that was determined to be in various campus buildings.

The school identified various buildings that contained asbestos in materials used in the construction of the structures. In general, it was noted that asbestos was primarily located in the floor tiles. As long as the floor tiles are intact and undisturbed, the risk of asbestos exposure is relatively low. However, if these tiles are damaged or disturbed, the asbestos can be released into the air and breathed in, putting people in serious danger.

Instead of ignoring the problem or hiring a non-certified company to remove the floor tiles, the school scheduled a removal job. In previous jobs, the removal work was done over the weekend or during school breaks so that there would not be as many people on campus. Representatives for the school specify that trained workers and contractors are used during this process, which includes precise methods of containment, removal and disposal.

The school is acting responsibly by notifying people of the work and having it removed safely and promptly. Not all business owners are this conscientious, unfortunately. Those who do not take their duty to maintain safe premises conditions seriously put the lives of workers, residents, students and others that occupy a building in danger.

Source: Daily Titan, "Buildings containing asbestos deemed inhabitable," Yvette Quintero, Feb. 12, 2013

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