Scientists have proven that exposure to asbestos is deadly to individuals that are around the material. As a result, it is important that employers protect workers from such potential hazards. This article and a subsequent one will discuss what legal claims are available to construction workers harmed by asbestos.
A lawsuit may be brought forward if a company fails to make sure asbestos does not harm workers. Usually, construction workers are the most at risk for health problems and injuries in older buildings lined with asbestos. This means that any one of the employees may be exposed if certain protections are not available.
Construction Workers and Asbestos
The asbestos fibers used in insulation, floor tiles and building materials are extremely small. Without protective gear it is easy to swallow these fibers while breathing. Construction workers are often exposed to asbestos fibers during renovations, repairs and demolitions. When the person breathes these fibers in they are at risk of various deadly consequences. Mesothelioma is a fatal type of cancer that affects lungs and stomach. Asbestosis may happen after the initial stages when the first cancer arises. Asbestosis is a build-up of scar-like tissue inside the lungs leading to a loss of functionality, disability and death. Death occurs when stages progress far enough.
There are many cases that arise due to exposure to asbestos fibers. One claim is based on negligence. This is when the employee has been injured through inhaling the asbestos material. The injured person must prove three factors in a negligence claim. These are:
- The defending party had a duty of care to the worker
- There was a breach in the duty of care
- That breach of duty is what led to the injury
Most employers are required to ensure safety is provided to workers through regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It is required that air quality is monitored at job sites where asbestos may be present. Therefore, if the levels of this material are dangerous, the employee must be protected.