Asbestos poses a threat to others when parties do not remove it correctly and safely. Unfortunately, not everyone takes the steps necessary to dispose of materials containing asbestos properly.
Under these circumstances, people can experience harmful exposure. And those responsible for improper removal can and should be held accountable.
Improper removal and oversight
For instance, recently, the Vice President of Property Management for a company pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act. According to reports, the man hired a contractor and monitoring service to remove over 400,000 square feet of material containing asbestos.
During the project, the man learned that the parties were not complying with proper asbestos handling, containment and disposal protocols.
Instead of stopping the work or hiring new workers, he and other supervisors pressed for faster removal. They also instructed workers to remove contaminated products without wetting them down first and work in unsecured areas.
Serious consequences for serious violations
The purpose of safe removal practices is to minimize fibers from becoming airborne. Federal regulations require parties to wet asbestos-containing material before removal to limit the release of dry fibers. They should block off areas to prevent uncontrolled exposure and clearly label it before disposing of asbestos in approved facilities.
When parties do not take these precautions seriously, they endanger the lives of others and can face serious consequences.
In this case, the VP pleaded guilty and could spend a year in prison and face a $50,000 fine. Additionally, he and the other parties involved in the improper removal could be financially accountable for any damages people experience as a result of toxic exposure.
Even if individuals are not removing asbestos themselves, they can be responsible for any improper abatement measures for projects they oversee. Thus, working with an attorney to identify the source of exposure and all the liable parties can help victims with asbestos-related illnesses pursue the compensation and justice they deserve.