People in the construction industry often are required to work on renovation and demolition projects. Like any other project, these can present a danger to workers health if unsafe conditions exist. But renovation and demolition jobs can also come with the additional risk of asbestos exposure.
Employers and workers are required to comply with very strict rules and regulations when it comes to handling, removing and disposing of asbestos. The failure to do this could result in toxic exposure that puts a worker’s life and health in jeopardy. It can be crucial to understand more about these regulations in order to identify any potential violations if you or a loved one has been negligently exposed to asbestos.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are several regulations with which building owners and abatement companies must comply in regards to asbestos. The building owner is required to submit notification to state agencies before any work is done to renovate or demolish a structure containing certain levels of asbestos. Abatement companies are required to hire only trained, accredited workers for projects in schools as well as commercial and public buildings.
During the construction work, workers must comply with the rigid regulations defined by the Clean Air Act. These standards include:
- Adequately wetting asbestos to avoid visible emissions;
- Not dropping, throwing or mishandling asbestos materials in order to avoid causing damage;
- Using appropriate and approved ventilation and collection systems;
- Wrapping asbestos materials in leak-tight coverings;
- Clearly marking vehicles transporting asbestos materials;
- Disposing of asbestos only at approved sites.
This is just a small number of the extensive rules in place to protect people from being exposed to asbestos. Should these or any other requirement be forgotten or neglected, there may be legitimate concerns for a worker’s safety.
If you or a family member has potentially been exposed to asbestos on the job, there may be grounds to pursue workers’ compensation. This money can at least partially cover the cost of lost wages and medical expenses that may be unavoidable if a worker has been exposed to asbestos.