(800) 369-0899
(215) 569-4000

Contact Us Today



Asbestos Exposure for Construction Workers

Our Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Represent Construction Workers

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction workers are exposed to a wide range of occupational hazards, including getting struck by falling objects, falls from elevated surfaces, and getting caught between a heavy piece of equipment and the ground or a wall, making it one of the most dangerous professions. Asbestos is a less obvious but potentially life-threatening hazard that construction workers are exposed to on construction sites. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned new asbestos-containing products in 1989, they did not require building owners to remove existing asbestos materials. As a result, construction workers are at an increased risk of prolonged asbestos exposure, which can cause mesothelioma, a rare and incurable form of cancer. If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma after prolonged exposure to asbestos at a construction site, you may be entitled to financial compensation. An experienced asbestos lawyer can assist you with a mesothelioma claim and help you recover the damages you deserve.

What Types of Construction Jobs Have the Greatest Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

Any work site with asbestos present can expose workers to dangerous asbestos dust. However, if a job involves disrupting older, asbestos-containing materials, asbestos fibers, and dust can be released into the air and inhaled. Whether the construction project is a major project or a smaller-scale job, like a renovation or a repair, construction workers can be exposed to asbestos. The following are construction jobs with the greatest risk of asbestos exposure:

  • Bricklayers
  • Demolition workers
  • Drywall workers
  • Renovators
  • Laborers
  • Bulldozer operators
  • Roofers
  • Pipefitters
  • Plumbers
  • Insulation workers
  • Plasterers
  • Crain operators
  • Tile setters

Unfortunately, asbestos dust can spread around a construction site quickly, exposing many workers to it in a relatively short period. In addition, because the asbestos dust tends to cling to clothing, hair, and tools, family members can also be exposed when workers unknowingly carry this toxic dust into the home. This is known as secondary exposure, which can also develop into mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

What Products Are Most Likely to Cause Construction Worker Asbestos Exposure?

For most of the 20th century, asbestos was widely used in various commercial, industrial, and residential construction materials for its heat and fire-resistant properties. While asbestos is rarely used today, it poses a serious health risk to construction workers who renovate or demolish older buildings. According to the EPA, the majority of this country’s roughly 733,000 public and commercial buildings. Approximately 1.3 million construction workers are still at risk of  developing mesothelioma due to occupational asbestos exposure from the following products:

  • Insulation: Construction workers often sprayed asbestos-containing products on steel columns, aluminum sheets, and other metal structures that needed to withstand high temperatures.
  • Flooring: Construction workers often used asbestos mastics and grout to cement tiles into place.
  • Roofing: Roofers often used shingles that contained an asbestos coating
  • Drywall: According to one study, asbestos was found in all taping products and one-third of tested patching products.
  • Vermiculite products: Asbestos-containing vermiculite products continued to be manufactured until the early 1990s.
  • Duct tape: Certain types of duct tape contain up to 45 percent of asbestos.
  • Joint packing: These products often contain up to 40 percent asbestos and are still present in many older buildings.
  • Construction felts: Companies like Calcot and Syncot manufactured asbestos-containing construction felt products.
  • Siding panels: Companies like National Gypsum and Flintkote produced panels containing asbestos fibers.
  • Insulating cement: Asbestos cement products were produced by companies like HiLite, Careytemp, and Gum-Bestos.
  • Textured paint and ceiling texturizing products: While these products only contain less than 5 percent asbestos, they are easily friable when removed.

What Is Being Done to Protect Construction Workers from Asbestos Exposure?

Although the risk of asbestos exposure is much less now than before the 1990s, construction workers are still at risk of being exposed to toxic asbestos fibers released into the air when certain asbestos-containing materials are disturbed. All construction workers should be made aware of the risks of exposure in the workplace and that they have a right to a safe work environment. OSHA enforces safety regulations and protocols and ensures the following protections for construction workers:

  • Employers must comply with the asbestos exposure limit of 0.1 fibers per square centimeter.
  • Employers must notify workers if there is asbestos on the job and explain the risks.
  • Employers must monitor workplace asbestos regularly.
  • All workers are entitled to protective gear when working around asbestos, including respirators.
  • Workers must have access to medical surveillance if they are exposed to asbestos.

How Do I Recover Compensation for an Asbestos Illness?

If you are diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma, you may seek financial compensation by pursuing the following options:

  • Lawsuit: You can file a lawsuit against a product manufacturer responsible for exposing you to asbestos. You must be able to prove that you were exposed to asbestos in the workplace and that the exposure led to your disease. Your claim must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.
  • Asbestos trust fund: Many companies went bankrupt due to asbestos litigation. As part of the bankruptcy process, trust funds were established to compensate future claimants who developed asbestos illnesses like mesothelioma. An experienced asbestos lawyer will recommend the best legal course of action and help you successfully navigate the claims process.

Our Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Represent Construction Workers

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma or another type of asbestos-related disease after being exposed to asbestos at a construction site, do not hesitate to contact our Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Call us at 215-569-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.