People generally understand the dangers of asbestos. Unfortunately, too many parties fail to extend this knowledge to others who could get seriously ill if exposed. Employers fail to tell employees that they will be working with asbestos; product manufacturers fail to inform consumers that their products contain the hazardous fiber; property owners fail to tell tenants or visitors that asbestos is present on site.
Sadly, even parties who are hired to handle and remove asbestos because of how dangerous it is fail to appreciate the damage asbestos can do to other people’s health. They cut corners or break the law in the interest of making a profit, and this can come at the expense of other people’s lives. It is important to understand that these people can also be held accountable if their actions result in the death of a loved one.
Asbestos abatement specialists are hired specifically because they are supposed to handle, remove and dispose of asbestos in accordance with state and federal regulations. People without the proper certification and experience typically have no idea how to deal with asbestos, so it can be necessary to pay another party to do it.
Tragically, there are companies and employers who don’t do what they promise. They say they’ll remove asbestos but don’t; they say they’ll dispose of asbestos properly but don’t; they say the premises are safe but they aren’t.
For instance, one man was recently found guilty of violating asbestos regulations and the Clean Air Act. He was hired to remove asbestos from a church, but he reportedly hired untrained workers and failed to comply with a number of removal standards which resulted in potentially deadly exposure.
The man will certainly face penalties for the criminal conviction, but he may also be face civil penalties should any of his former employees or clients learn that their health has been compromised as a result of the negligent actions of this man.
Source: Mlive.com, “Contractor gets up to 5 years in prison for illegal asbestos removal at Bay City Academy,” Cole Waterman, March 13, 2015