In Chattanooga, the Tennessee Occupational Safety & Health Administration (TOSHA) is investigating the remodeling of an historic downtown hotel. According to workers on the project, unsafe remodeling was leading to the release of asbestos into the air.
The investigation is still underway. However, it highlights the fact that remodeling and demolition projects can still expose workers to asbestos in the air. For example, in British Columbia, Canada, the number of unsafe asbestos removal worksites is increasing dramatically. There have been more stop work orders and fines issued to developers and remodelers in the first eight months of 2017 than in all of 2016.
In Australia, electrical workers again had to halt remodeling of the Sydney Opera House over asbestos safety concerns, the second time in a month workers had to walk off the job site.
These are just prominent worldwide examples of the danger asbestos continues to pose in demolition and remodeling projects. In the U.S., a stronger housing market has led to more construction projects, particularly of homes built in the 1980s and prior. Such homes typically have numerous asbestos-containing products. Without proper safety precautions, the danger of asbestos exposure is real and life-threatening. Developers and contractors who cut corners are putting lives at risk.
Refuse to work on unsafe projects
Because asbestos remains a prominent danger, workers who suspect they may be exposed to asbestos dust without proper safety precautions, including equipment and training, have every right to raise their concerns.
For construction workers and tradesmen who have been exposed to asbestos dust, legal options are available, including for family members who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure.