How should property owners address asbestos?

Property owners have a great deal of responsibility when it comes to making sure their property is safe. Premises liability is about much more than protecting residents and visitors from slipping and falling; owners must also be sure the structure itself is not a threat to anyone’s health.

This often involves handling asbestos. Many buildings across North Carolina were constructed with materials containing asbestos, and these materials can be the cause of serious harm if that asbestos is breathed in by anyone. Property owners must ensure that they comply with state and federal laws when it comes to having asbestos removed.

Oftentimes, asbestos becomes an issue when an older building is being renovated or demolished. In these situations, a building owner must have a thorough inspection of the property completed by a certified inspector, according to requirements by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

If asbestos is found during this inspection, it will be necessary to secure a removal permit before the demolition or renovation project can proceed. The asbestos will need to be removed and disposed of safely and lawfully by accredited abatement specialists. These specialists are aware of and understand the dangers of handling asbestos, and they should be able to take the appropriate steps to remove the asbestos without allowing it to contaminate water and air.

Whether the asbestos is visible and crumbling or found hidden in floor tiles or insulation, it must be handled by professionals and in compliance with the law. If a property owner fails to remove the asbestos or tries to cut corners during the removal process, he or she could be held accountable for damages that can be caused by exposure.

Any person who has concerns about whether he or she has been exposed to asbestos because of a negligent property owner who failed to take these steps can discuss options for legal action with an attorney. Legal representatives familiar with asbestos removal procedures can help people better understand if and to what extent their health has been put in jeopardy, and what medical and legal solutions are available to victims.