There are many employers and property owners who will do whatever they can to cut their costs. They may work with substandard materials or fail to take appropriate action to improve working or living conditions to keep people safe. Often, these parties are making these decisions because of the short-term benefits they can get; however, the long-term consequences of these choices can be devastating.
We have discussed how workers in certain occupations can be much more affected by exposure to asbestos than others. For many years, people in North Carolina and all across the world were working in jobs where they breathed in or came into contact with asbestos without proper protection or warnings by employers.
Just last week, we wrote a post about the fatal and tragic building collapse in Philadelphia; and we wondered, just like many other North Carolina residents, if the building had asbestos inside. If so, the first responders to the tragedy would have been exposed as they lacked the necessary equipment to prevent them from breathing in the harmful material.
The owners of a building and employers have a responsibility to make sure a property is safe for employees, tenants and visitors. This means that they must comply with state or federal safety regulations and they must deal with any hazards or violations in an appropriate manner. When a property owner does not take this responsibility seriously, people can get injured or sick. In many of these cases, it can be appropriate to file a premises liability claim.
Despite knowing for many years that exposure to asbestos can be deadly, reckless business and property owners do nothing to protect people from breathing in the toxic fibers. They do not have asbestos properly removed, they do not inform their workers or tenants of the asbestos or they neglect to provide them with proper protection from exposure. This negligence has put millions of people at risk of developing mesothelioma, asbestosis and other related diseases. Unfortunately, many people do not learn that they have been exposed to asbestos until decades later when they start showing symptoms.
Providing workers and residents with a safe environment is a duty that all property owners must take seriously. People should be able to expect that they will be given proper warnings if unsafe conditions exist and will be appropriately protected if there are hazardous conditions in place. This is certainly true when it comes to people work or live in a building that contains asbestos. In most cases, property owners or employers will make the responsible decision to have the toxic substance removed safety and by a certified abatement company.