Because of how toxic asbestos is, there are strict regulations for how it must be handled, removed and disposed of. Unfortunately, not all companies comply with these rules. In many cases, companies choose to ignore their responsibilities in the interest of saving and making money. They hire untrained employees, neglect to inform them of the dangers of asbestos or provide them with inadequate protective equipment. This can result in workers suffering serious and even life-threatening illnesses years after the work is complete.
Recently, one company was slapped with more than $63,000 in fines for violating asbestos-removal regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently handed down the fine after an inspector allegedly uncovered numerous violations at the demolition company that put workers in danger.
According to the results of the inspection, the company failed to take appropriate action to protect workers from being exposed to asbestos on a jobsite. The company was also cited for failing to monitor the air for asbestos particles and failing to properly mark off the areas where asbestos removal was underway.
The company owner has denied that such violations exist, stating that the 52-year-old company has never been in violation of an OSHA standards. However, just because it hasn’t happened before does not mean it can never happen. If the cited negligence is accurate, it is possible that many of the workers at the demolition company could have been exposed to toxic levels of asbestos.
It is crucial for North Carolina workers who have been affected by asbestos exposure to remember that they may be eligible to receive financial compensation. Even before a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, he or she may require ongoing testing that can be crucial in detecting an illness as early as possible, and this can result in huge medical bills. That is why many people who have been exposed to asbestos on the job may want to speak with an attorney who can help them pursue workers’ compensation benefits or a negligence claim, if appropriate.
Source: The Augusta Chronicle, “OSHA cites Thompson Wrecking Co. over asbestos removal violations,” Susan McCord, Jan. 16, 2014