Employees of a demolition company may be understandably concerned about their health after it was confirmed that they were put in serious danger on the job. Reports indicate that they were exposed to asbestos after their employer sent them to a jobsite without adequate protection or warnings about the toxic material.
For nearly two years, the workers were tearing down condemned buildings. During the project, workers were tasked with removing building materials that contained asbestos. Although the company knew that asbestos was in many of the materials, no attempt was made to protect the workers from exposure. Now the company is facing huge fines for violating the Clean Air Act and could end up being named in lawsuits by the workers.
Workers who are exposed to asbestos could suffer serious illnesses like asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. Unfortunately, it may take many years for symptoms to develop, and by the time many people are diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, it is too late for treatment to be effective.
That is why it is crucial for people to know if they have been exposed. Knowing that they may have breathed in the fiber can give people a chance to identify symptoms sooner and they can inform doctors that they may be at risk of an asbestos-related disease. In too many cases, diagnoses are delayed because symptoms are missed or a doctor does not make the connection to illnesses caused by asbestos.
Unfortunately, getting medical treatment can be expensive. But employees who have been exposed to asbestos and require medical care may be eligible to collect workers’ compensation. With this financial support, workers can get access to the treatment they need and they may also be able to recover lost wages. However, pursuing these benefits successfully can be challenging which is why it may be wise to speak with an attorney who is familiar with the process and can provide critical support.
Source: WIVB, “Company admits violating Clean Air Act,” April 17, 2014