A Chicago construction company was fined heavily during a recent safety inspection, after investigators found signs of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos is a strong, durable fiber that was widely used for insulation in the early 1900s. The material has a high heat resistance, so builders often mixed asbestos fibers with cement or wove the material into fabric or mats.
Asbestos fibers can be inhaled into the nose and lungs and lodge there, irritating the lungs and causing harmful scar tissue to form. The material is also extremely carcinogenic, causing mesothelioma and other forms of lung cancer.
Most countries banned asbestos use in the 1980s, but the material is still present in older buildings and warehouses. Employers should always exercise extreme caution if they suspect asbestos may be present at any worksite.
Structure Development Midwest LLC was working to restore a historic Chicago firehouse built in 1887. According to reports from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction company failed to do adequate prep work at the site, visibly identifying asbestos and limiting access to those areas.
Among other violations, SDM failed to ensure that employees followed OSHA procedure by removing asbestos material in sealed, labeled, waterproof bags. Management also failed to enforce proper OSHA procedure for employees exposed to asbestos.
Did Asbestos Exposure Cause My Illness?
There is no safe amount of asbestos exposure. The material’s harmful effects are widely documented, and even short-term exposure could cause permanent health issues.
If your lung disease was cause by asbestos, there are resources available to help you treat your illness. To discuss the details of your occupational illness, schedule a free consultation with the licensed attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC.
[Did You Know:
Around 2 million tons of asbestos are still mined every year, mainly in Russia China, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Canada.]
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC
—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys