Most Ohio construction workers are aware that risks come with working on renovation or demolition projects. One of those risks is asbestos exposure since many buildings requiring demolition or renovation contain the toxic substance. If those materials are not handled correctly, workers could find themselves suffering from significant health problems at some point in the future.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently fined a company in the northwestern part of the country for not following the proper procedures when scraping a “popcorn” ceiling in an apartment it was renovating. The incident came to light after an employee filed a complaint with OSHA. As a result of an investigation and inspections, it was determined that the employee correctly assessed that asbestos was present in the ceiling material.
OSHA says that the Oregon company failed to provide its employees with the appropriate safety gear and failed to dispose of the material properly, which should have been put into airtight containers. The company claims that it followed all of the state requirements for the project, but OSHA disagrees. Now, it is possible that the employees exposed to the asbestos could become ill well into the future since asbestos-related diseases take decades to manifest. They may spend the rest of their lives wondering when, or if, they will get sick.
With all of the information and warnings available regarding asbestos exposure, there is no excuse for an employer not taking the appropriate precautions, especially if an employee expresses concerns that its presence is a possibility. Ohio workers who find out after the fact that they were exposed to asbestos may want to take steps to protect themselves. This may involve undergoing a medical examination and speaking with an attorney with experience in this complex area of the law.