MARIETTA, Georgia. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos can be found in a wide range of building construction sites. Common locations where the substance can be found includes insulation, vinyl flooring, tiles, roofing shingles, in certain types of paint, around oil and coal furnaces and around some wood-burning stoves, in some heat resistant fabrics, and in automobile clutches and brakes. Construction workers, roofers, car mechanics, and workers in other industries might run a higher risk of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos is a dangerous compound. It is known to increase a person’s risk of lung disease and certain types of cancer. The main risks include lung cancer risk, mesothelioma risk, and disease of the lungs associated with asbestos exposure.
Workplaces have a responsibility to protect workers from asbestos exposure. However, in the early days of asbestos use, workers may not always have received adequate protections. When companies and the general public learned about asbestos risks, some companies may have put their bottom lines above protecting workers.
However, workers may not always be the only people at risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers can remain on a person’s clothes or body long after exposure and these fibers can be taken home where other family members can be exposed.
In one recent court case, a judge ruled that a workplace could be held responsible for disease a worker’s spouse developed after she washed her husband’s asbestos-covered clothing for years. According to Delaware Law, a Delaware court found that the spouse had the right to seek damages. Previously, the law protected companies from lawsuits from worker’s spouses. The case is a major reversal. The lawsuit claims that the employers failed to properly warn workers about their risks and about the risks their spouses may have faced.
Under the ruling, the hope is that employers will supply workers with more robust information about the dangers of asbestos, and require employers to better cover what constitutes safe practices when handling potentially contaminated clothes.
While asbestos is no longer used in modern construction, it may still exist in some materials on construction sites involving older buildings. Some industries still use asbestos in limited cases to this day. When workers are exposed to asbestos, companies have a responsibility to provide proper safety equipment and training. Under the recent court case, this training can extend to safety that considers the worker’s whole family.
If you worked in an industry in which you may have had to handle dangerous chemicals or asbestos, and believe that you or a loved one may have been exposed to toxic chemicals, you may want to speak to a qualified Marietta, Georgia, work injury lawyer like Amanda Hall Injury Law. Our firm can help you understand your rights and fight to help you seek the damages you may be entitled to receive under the law. Given new case precedents, these rights may even extend to your family.
Amanda Hall Injury Law
Towne Lake Parkway, Suite 200
Woodstock, GA 30188