If you handle asbestos in your job, you likely need to complete training and certification. These requirements ensure individuals know how to work with this toxic material as safely as possible.
Unfortunately, some people who carry out these pieces of training fail to do so correctly. In these situations, there can be consequences for multiple parties.
Consequences for training, certification professionals
Professionals who train and certify workers on safe handling and abatement practices can face penalties if they cut corners.
Recently, a training coordinator and an asbestos abatement supervisor received probation and fines after pleading guilty to violating the Toxic Substances Control Act. They reportedly failed to train workers in asbestos handling. They also created false certifications and authorized training that did not meet specific requirements.
Consequences for workers
Working with asbestos safely typically requires people to have personal protective equipment, including:
They should also understand proper procedures for wetting down fibers, closing off dangerous areas and properly disposing of materials.
Workers who do not know about these requirements can suffer dangerous levels of asbestos exposure. They can develop devastating occupational illnesses, including mesothelioma.
Consequences for generations to come
Individuals who never worked with asbestos can also suffer health-related consequences of failed training and certification measures.
People who build, renovate or demolish property without training could create serious hazards that endanger generations.
For instance, years from now, people could fall ill due to:
- Improper use of asbestos
- Failed efforts to cover up asbestos
- Incomplete removal
- Unsafe disposal
Asbestos training and certification keep these parties safer. If contractors or employers do not fulfill these duties, they can be accountable for violations and damages others might suffer.