Ways for workers to protect themselves from asbestos exposure
People who used to work in an environment where hazardous asbestos mineral is present should follow certain standards for them to prevent inhaling its cancer-causing dust. In the U.S., the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) also requires companies that used to work with asbestos to follow safety standards to prevent their employees from developing mesothelioma cancer.
Generally, the asbestos used in maritime, construction, and automotive industries become hazardous when its dust went airborne and accidentally inhaled by workers. In a construction workplace for example, asbestos dust may get into the air during demolition is conducted. Asbestos is still used in the U.S. to strengthen construction materials like roofs, gypsum boards, floor tiles, and cement. The U.S. Department of Labor created safety standards as they estimated that 1.3 million employees might have contacted asbestos in the workplace. People who have been part of construction projects in years earlier than 1979 might have mesothelioma and should see a doctor, a lawyer of the Williams Kherkher said.
In the revised OSHA safety rules, workers are only allowed to be exposed to “0.2 fibers per cubic centimeter” of air if they work in a place with asbestos. Permissible Exposure Limit or PEL is highly enforced in construction sites and other industries that uses products that contain asbestos. Employers should accurately monitor workers shift in compliance to PEL. Employers should also provide facilities where workers can clean themselves after their shift and proper ventilation system in the workplace. Workers are required to use respiratory protection if their work environment has high asbestos concentration. Regulated workplace areas or places with high asbestos concentration should have warning signs. Construction workers are required to undergo regular medical checkup.
Though the OSHA have created safety standards to protect workers from asbestos exposure, there are some instances when employers or other parties become negligent. Such negligence often result to workers developing asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma.