With areas of Detroit undergoing constant demolition by licensed and unlicensed contractors, the risk of asbestos exposure for workers and residents is at possibly lethal levels. Asbestos is linked to 107,000 deaths yearly in the United States. More than 40 years after it was acknowledged as a hazardous pollutant by the U.S. government, asbestos is still the leading cause of occupational cancer. In 1973, 803,000 tons of asbestos were produced, whereas today only around 360 tons are produced each year in the United States. However, the hazards caused by asbestos in the workplace are still very prevalent today.
Due to the sharp increase of demolition projects in Detroit, funds and resources allocated to enforce the safe handling of asbestos by workers are not enough to cover the number of projects assigned. It is also likely that workers are not sufficiently trained in methods of keeping the cancerous pollutant from spreading to nearby residents. Workers and residents alike are therefore possibly being exposed to deadly amounts of asbestos unknowingly.
According to Detroit Free Press Reporters, Jennifer Dixon and Kristi Tanner, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration has allocated only four inspectors to enforce laws on projects regarding asbestos reduction. These four inspectors are expected to enforce regulations on 223 contractors.
Dixon and Tanner have also reported that some contractors have been hiring recent parolees as well as homeless individuals to remove asbestos from buildings. These workers have been dealt jobs that require them to clean up the cancerous pollutant without any training on how to perform the task safely. Contractors have also been putting them to work on the asbestos removal projects without the proper safety equipment that is state mandated.
Employers are required to follow strict regulations regarding the handling and removal of asbestos. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos due to the negligence of an employer, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. We urge you to contact Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler to learn more about your options. Our experienced and understanding New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers serve clients throughout the region, including New Jersey, Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Fill out our online contact form or call our firm at 1-215-569-4000 or toll free at 1-800-369-0899 to get started today.