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Plumber who was fired to reporting employer to OSHA files lawsuit

| Feb 28, 2014 | Workers' Compensation |

When dealing with cases involving possible exposure to dangerous or deadly toxins and materials, prevention is key. However, when it comes to asbestos, many of those affected learn too late just how dangerous exposure to materials containing asbestos material can be. For one man, his attempts to alert his employer to dangerous working conditions related to asbestos exposure may have ultimately resulted in his termination.

The 33-year-old plumber recently filed a lawsuit against his hospital employer and supervisors who he alleges failed to take steps to address concerns raised about working in close proximity to asbestos. In the lawsuit, the 33-year-old asserts that on multiple occasions he expressed concerns about working around asbestos material that clung to many of the hospital’s plumbing pipes. However, he asserts his concerns and repeated requests for protective gear fell on deaf ears and ultimately led to his eventual firing.

Desperate to protect both his safety and that of colleagues, the man eventually reported his employer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. One week after he filed a second complaint with OSHA, the man was fired. While the 33-year-old recently filed a lawsuit against his former employers, only time will tell whether he will suffer future health problems related to the years of repeated asbestos exposure.

Individuals who currently, or previously, earn a living as a plumber, carpenter, electrician or insulation worker may be at an increased risk of developing adverse health conditions related to asbestos exposure. In some cases, those impacted may develop the deadly form of cancer mesothelioma which is readily associated with asbestos exposure. Illinois residents who have concerns about or health problems related to possible asbestos exposure would be wise to consult with an attorney.

Source: Staten Island Advance, “Worker alleges he was sacked for complaining about asbestos exposure at hospital on Staten Island,” Frank Donnelly, Feb. 26, 2014

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