Materials found to contain asbestos are commonly found in many older buildings. When these buildings are renovated or demolished, the removal of asbestos materials must be carried out and completed by a licensed asbestos removal company. Under federal and state law, asbestos removal companies must abide by and follow certain restrictions and requirements. Failure to do so can put workers and members of the public at risk of being exposed to dangerous asbestos materials.
One licensed asbestos removal company was recently fined more than $82,000 for failing to follow proper procedures in the removal and disposal of building materials found to contain asbestos. While this specific offense occurred in another state, similar regulations exist in states throughout the country and in Illinois.
The fines stem from work that was performed by the asbestos removal company when removing old insulation. The company was found to have put workers at risk of asbestos exposure when it allowed asbestos-laden insulation to remain uncovered for an extended period of time in the building. Additionally, when the asbestos was finally removed, the materials were placed in unmarked plastic bags thereby exposing members of the public to the dangerous fibers.
Construction workers or members of the public who have been exposed to dangerous asbestos materials may suffer adverse health side effects. Even minimal asbestos exposure has been linked to different types of lung cancers including mesothelioma. For these reasons, individuals who believe they have been exposed to asbestos would be wise to seek legal advice from an attorney who has experience handling asbestos cases.
Source: MassLive.com, “Company fined $82K for improper removal of asbestos during work at Worcester’s Crompton and Knowles building,” Patrick Johnson, Feb. 7, 2014