Many people in North Carolina and around the region know by now that asbestos is an unsafe product that can cause lung cancer and other very serious conditions. Some of these illnesses can even lead to death. It is therefore unfortunate and disturbing when a company, knowing this, still insists on having its employees remove material containing asbestos. It is even more disturbing when this is done intentionally and in light of allegations of pure financial gain for the company.
A construction company in another state faced a $10,500 fine recently from a regulatory agency for removing pipe from an asbestos-laden construction site. The company was supposed to handle the demolition of an old building that the company knew contained asbestos. The company was on a tight time schedule but nonetheless hired a specialist in asbestos abatement.
However, when the specialist sent a crew to the building, a lot of the “abatement” had already been finished. It later came to light that at the direction of the construction company, two employees, one of them a supervisor, removed a bunch of copper from the site even though the asbestos on the site presented a known health hazard. The supervisor later admitted that the company wanted the opportunity to sell the cooper for money.
Whether the workers who were actually required to remove the asbestos will suffer from ill health effects remains to be seen, as sometimes asbestos-related cancer takes decades to develop. If they do fall ill, workers’ compensation will likely cover some of their expenses. People who have suffered from the negative effects of asbestos exposure may want to consider seeking compensation with the help of an experienced asbestos attorney.
Source: Arizona Daily Star, “Canyon Building fined $10,500 for asbestos violations,” Becky Pallack, Dec. 15, 2013