Evidence appeared in the 1960s that linked asbestos exposure to mesothelioma, lung cancer and other respiratory diseases such as asbestosis. Because asbestos fibers still present a dangerous medical risk to workers, its use is now highly regulated by both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Every occupational exposure to asbestos may result in an injury, with heavy exposure commonly occurring in the construction industry. Companies are required to provide personal exposure monitoring to assess the risk for any operation where workers may be exposed to asbestos. To limit exposure, OSHA requires companies to provide HEPA filters, special ventilation systems, glove bags, protective clothing, and respirators.
Unfortunately, it is often because of owners violating specific OSHA standards and other safety laws that workers are exposed to this dangerous mineral fiber. This frequently occurs when businesses attempt to reduce costs and increase their profit margin. An example of a business failing to meet asbestos removal standards recently occurred when a worker in Albany reported that his employer was engaging in improper activity. The company terminated him in 2010, the day after he reported the illegal practices. In early February of 2018, a New York court awarded him $170,000 in lost wages and damages for the company violating his right to report potential work hazards without fear of retaliation, termination, and harassment.
Since the 1960s, the standards for permissible asbestos exposure have become stricter. OSHA stresses that they are regulatory in purpose and do not establish any level of safe exposure. As stated in an article written for the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, “There is no ‘safe’ level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber.” Thus, it is clear that there is still a substantial health risk to individuals who work in close proximity to the substance in 2018.
At Bonina and Bonina, P.C., we have been successfully fighting for injured New York workers for over 50 years. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and determination to hold negligent owners and contractors responsible, and to get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact us today at 1-888-MedLaw1 (888-633-5291) or online so we can help you. The consultation is free. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla espaňol.