When you consider the potential risks you face in your place of work, you may think about the factors that could contribute to an accident and possible injury. You may not give much thought to the unseen hazards that have the potential to negatively impact your health. One of these things is asbestos, a type of fiber that can cause detrimental effects if inhaled. You may not even see these fibers, yet exposure is a serious threat to your well-being.
Asbestos exposure is something that North Carolina employers should take seriously. If asbestos is detected in your workplace or at a site where you are working, proper safety measures should immediately go into effect. There are specific ways to remove this dangerous substance in a way that eliminates exposure risk and allows you to work safely. Failure to take asbestos seriously could have detrimental consequences.
Mitigation procedures for asbestos
Asbestos is a carcinogen, and exposure is extremely dangerous. These tiny fibers have the potential to cause mesothelioma — one of the deadliest types of cancer. After discovering the presence of asbestos, employers should take the following steps:
- Contact a professional who can safely evaluate the premises and determine if this dangerous material is present.
- Follow the steps of the abatement plan set by the asbestos removal professional.
- Keep employees away from the potentially hazardous areas until abatement is complete.
- Seal off air ducts near the hazardous area and keep the HVAC system turned off.
- Hire a professional company to safely remove the dangerous materials using the proper tools and techniques.
- Use proper clean-up measures, including vacuuming with a high-efficiency particulate air machine.
- After cleanup and abatement is complete, do a careful inspection to ensure the area is safe.
Exposure to asbestos in your workplace could change your life. It is possible you could develop a dangerous disease due to this exposure, but there could be legal options available to you.
Your rights after exposure
If you suspect that your workplace may not be safe, or you have already been exposed to asbestos in your workplace, you may have grounds to take legal action. Your health and long-term well-being are at risk, but you may benefit from seeking an assessment of your specific case and understanding what steps you can take that will allow you to seek the help and support you need during this difficult time.