Demolition and renovation are a substantial part of the construction industry here in Ohio and elsewhere. When existing materials are removed from buildings, the odds are good that workers could encounter asbestos if they disturb materials manufactured with it. The companies undertaking these jobs owe their employees a duty to keep them safe from the harmful effects of this and other toxic substances and materials on job sites.
Recently, two companies on the west coast were fined for failing to protect workers from asbestos-laden products on the job site. Remnants of popcorn ceilings and vinyl flooring containing this human carcinogen were just left on site for workers to breathe in and perhaps even ingest. Products containing asbestos are not necessarily dangerous until or unless they are broken or demolished.
At that point, the toxic material becomes dust in the air and fibers on clothes and other surfaces. Any workers within its range run the risk of suffering from an asbestos-related illness at some point in the future. For this reason, the law requires the area to be evacuated and for the substance to be removed through a stringent abatement process carried out by certified specialists. The two Seattle companies, one of which was an abatement company, failed to follow the rules and regulations.
Sadly, this story is not as rare as it should be. Far too many construction workers and others become exposed to asbestos on construction sites where proper abatement procedures and protocols are not carried out. Ohio individuals who believe they were exposed in this manner may face an uncertain future as it pertains to their health. Discussing the situation with an experienced attorney could help identify any potential legal options they may have.