Learning that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asbestosis or mesothelioma can be completely devastating. These illnesses are typically very serious and aggressive; sadly, many victims learn they only have weeks or months to live once they are diagnosed.
Considering how catastrophic these conditions are, it is crucial that people are properly protected from asbestos exposure, which is linked to these and other illnesses. Oftentimes, exposure occurs in the workplace, so employees in industries like plumbing, demolition, auto repair and construction would be wise to have at least basic protections against exposure.
The basic gear that can minimize risks of toxic exposure to asbestos includes:
- Coveralls that are disposable and/or used only on a job site
Additionally, proper equipment must be used when removing asbestos-containing materials to ensure the fibers are not released into the air and are properly disposed of. This equipment should include:
- Hoses and other equipment to keep materials wet
- HEPA vacuums
- Proper waste disposal bags
Unless this gear and equipment is used when working with asbestos, workers could be exposed to airborne asbestos fibers that do irreparable damage. Many employers will provide at least some of these things to workers, though some do not. Unfortunately, this failure can put workers' health in danger; further, sometimes a person is exposed to asbestos in spite of these precautions.
If you have been exposed to asbestos on the job, you need to understand your legal options to collect financial compensation. In many cases, you could be able to secure workers' compensation, which can be crucial in helping to monitor your health and spot any problems as early as possible. In some cases, you may be able to file a civil claim against a negligent party seeking compensation for various damages.
Your legal options will depend greatly on the specific details of your case, so it would be wise to consult an attorney familiar with personal injury claims, including those involving workplace illnesses and injuries.