Unsafe asbestos removal poses a big health and safety risk for workers in certain industries. Although asbestos is a known toxic material that causes lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma often seen by an asbestos pittsburgh pa attorney, it’s still found in many buildings and homes around the country.
Workers involved in the removal of asbestos from a building or home must be protected by specific clothing and equipment that keeps them safe from asbestos exposure. Although there are federal laws in place to protect these workers, recent investigations show that many companies and individual workers have been violating these laws. Reports show that many construction and demolition companies in the United States have been knowingly violating federal safety standards governing asbestos abatement and disposal procedures. Why would they fail to protect their workers from significant health risks caused by such violations? In most cases, it’s to save money on protective gear and equipment and get the job done faster.
According to federal investigations, numerous companies across the country have been found guilty of violating federal safety laws for the removal of asbestos. Regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require certain procedures for the removal and disposal of materials that contain asbestos. Thousands of OSHA citations have been issued for violations of unsafe asbestos removal:
* Asbestos removal by unlicensed contractors
* Asbestos removal by untrained workers
* Lack of proper protective clothing
* Lack of proper safety equipment including respirators
* Improper disposal of asbestos materials
* Improper federal documentation procedures
At one site in Michigan, over 600 cubic yards of unwrapped asbestos fibers were found in unlabeled, black garbage bags. The site contained an old consumer energy plant that had been demolished when it stopped operating. There were so many bags full of asbestos fibers, it took 30 dump trucks to haul the bags away to a safe EPA disposal location. The Michigan incident was one of the largest EPA violations issued in over 40 years, costing U.S. taxpayers over $1 million. The asbestos exposure and health risks to Kalamazoo residents who lived in the area is unknown.