More workers speak out about asbestos exposure

As we discussed in a previous blog post, workers continue to speak out about the risk of asbestos exposure in the workplace. While some of these workers are reporting exposure they faced in decades past, others still face the risk of exposure nowadays as well.

Asbestos is not a risk of the past

As ProPublica reports, yet another chemical plant that produces chlorine put workers in danger of asbestos exposure. The Olin Corp. plant near Mobile, Alabama, imports asbestos and uses it in the production process. Various workers from the plant reported serious concerns, including:

  • Asbestos being visible in many places
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) only being provided to asbestos workers, even though other workers are exposed too
  • Employers cleaning up the plant only before safety inspections occurred

However, one of the critical things to note from this report is that asbestos is not a workplace risk from years ago – it is still a present danger. Several of these reports from employees and contract workers come from this year.

So, which jobs currently face the most risk?

While asbestos was more prevalent – and far less restricted – in past decades, it remains a serious risk to workers, as the report mentioned above indicates. The jobs that still face a high risk of asbestos exposure include:

  • Pipefitters
  • Insulators
  • Plumbers
  • Mechanics
  • Electricians
  • Construction workers
  • Firefighters

There are rules and regulations in place to protect workers. However, employers may still overlook those regulations in favor of profit, as they did in the past.

Asbestos is a known human carcinogen that can cause diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.

That is why workers—whether in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, or anywhere–today must still be aware of the risks. It is critical to understand where asbestos remains today in addition to the rights they have to safe workplaces.

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