There is no doubt that construction work comes with some very obvious on-the-job hazards, from working high off the ground to using heavy and powerful machinery. However, some of the most dangerous risks of construction work are too small to even see.
In an article on our website, we discuss the fact that construction workers are at a greater risk of being exposed to asbestos on the job. To read that article and learn more about the specific hazards regarding construction work and exposure asbestos, click here. In this post, however, we will at what can happen when proper precautions are not taken to protect these workers.
Asbestos dust can be extremely dangerous. It can cover a person’s clothes and skin, it can easily be breathed in where asbestos fibers can get lodged in a person chest and lungs. In order to keep people safe from suffering the effects of toxic exposure, any person working with asbestos should have full protective covering, respiratory gear and means of disposing of contaminated equipment and clothing.
Unfortunately, not everyone takes these preventative measures seriously. For example, workers at one building site were tasked with removing asbestos-containing insulation boards from a farm building. However, they were never even told about the asbestos or provided with protective clothing.
In fact, the workers would apparently take breaks and eat lunch in dust-covered work clothes and at the end of the day, they were given baby wipes to clean off the dust and A a hose to rinse off. This method of “decontamination” is completely inadequate, as approved measures of removing asbestos include three phases in a decontamination unit.
The dangers of asbestos cannot just be wiped away. Removing asbestos from a person’s clothing, shoes, hair and skin requires several different steps, from vacuuming clothing to spraying the dust and equipment off to finally taking a full shower and discarding contaminated clothing.
In the event that proper measures were not taken to protect you or a loved one from being exposed to asbestos, you may have grounds to take legal action to pursue financial compensation from a negligent party if damages have been suffered.
Source: Construction Enquirer, “Workers given baby wipes to wash off asbestos,” Grant Prior, Feb. 6, 2015