Asbestos, as most people in Ohio know, is an extremely toxic substance that can lead to mesothelioma and other debilitating types of illnesses. Despite this well-accepted link between asbestos exposure and serious health risks, some businesses continue to put workers and consumers at an unnecessary risk. First Capital Insulation Inc. — an out-of-state insulation company — was recently slapped with a fine for failing to protect its employees.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration — OSHA — determined that First Capital Insulation did not provide some of its workers with the proper safety precautions while working with asbestos insulated thermal pipes at an empty house. The workers were on site at that location from Oct. 2014 until April 2015, during which time they were outfitted with respirators that did not fit correctly. First Capital also allegedly had the workers remove the asbestos insulation in an unsafe manner.
Additionally, anyone working with asbestos must be decontaminated afterwards, a step that First Capital apparently ignored. This put not only the workers at continued risk, but also caused those that they came into contact with to suffer from what is known as secondary exposure. Asbestos is easily carried on clothing, skin and hair, and can even become embedded in many types of furniture that a non-decontaminated worker might use or sit on.
Since the dangers of asbestos exposure are well-understood, it is reasonable for Ohio workers to expect that their employers will take adequate safety precautions to prevent unnecessary and dangerous exposure. Unfortunately, some employers and businesses place a higher value on the bottom line and demonstrate a gross lack of care for worker safety. Workers adversely affected by asbestos exposure often require the aid of legal recourse in order to address any and all related damages, including both physical and emotional scars on top of financial burdens.
Source: fox43.com, “York business fined $490,000 for failure to properly protect workers removing asbestos”, Howard Sheppard, April 23, 2015