One of the most devastating realizations that people can have when they learn about diseases caused by asbestos exposure is that there are effective ways to prevent toxic exposure, but many people do not employ these safeguards. Even though the hazards of asbestos have been known for decades, there are some parties who simply fail or refuse to take the appropriate steps to protect people.
Learning that a serious illness could have been prevented with little more than information, training, and protective clothing only adds insult to injury. This is why it is so frustrating to hear that companies continue to neglect their responsibilities to keep people safe from asbestos exposure. Recently, for example, a public housing agency in North Carolina came under fire for multiple asbestos violations that put employees in danger.
Reports indicate that the housing agency failed to explicitly warn employees about where asbestos was in their work areas and failed to properly train all workers. Instead, the agency evidently told all workers to assume there wasbestos in every environment and hired only a portion of workers certified in safe asbestos abatement.
By not complying with state and federal regulations, the agency could have put the health and safety of their workers in danger. The director of the housing authority stated that they were determined to meet and exceed the recommendations since made by the Department of Labor. He went on to say that the safety of housing residents and employees is the number one priority.
However, actions speak louder than words.
It is not uncommon for companies and employers to make statements like this after they have been cited for asbestos violations. But by that time, the damage may have already been done. While there is no way to go back and undo toxic exposure, victims can take steps forward by holding the appropriate party accountable for damages resulting from negligence.
Source: News & Observer, “NC inspectors say Raleigh Housing Authority fails asbestos requirements,” Colin Campbell, Aug. 14, 2014