When fighting in court, many employers will argue that they were not aware of the dangers of asbestos at the time their workers were exposed to the substance. The National Toxicity Program declared asbestos a known human carcinogen in 1987, meaning that, today, no one can deny knowing that asbestos is a hazard to human health.
Despite this fact, companies today are still exposing workers to asbestos in America. Most recently, real estate development and management company, Olivet Management LLC, has been accused by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of knowingly exposing employees and contracted workers to the substance.
Once exposure to asbestos has taken place, it can take years, or even decades, for asbestos-related diseases to show their symptoms. Resulting illnesses are often painful and deadly, cutting years off of a victim's of life.
Olivet Management LLC failed to do several things to protect their employees and other workers on the job: "train employees in the hazards of asbestos and lead and the need and nature of required safeguards; monitor workers' exposure levels; provide appropriate respiratory protection; post notices, warning signs and labels to alert workers and contractors to the presence of asbestos and lead. The company also did not provide clean changing and decontamination areas for workers, many of whom wore their contaminated clothing home to households with small children."
In total, Olivet Management LLC has been cited for 45 "willful" violations. They face up to $2,352,000 in fines by OSHA. The citations can be viewed publically, here, while the EPA's investigation is still ongoing.
Many organizations and individuals are astonished by company's actions, but Olivet is not alone in knowingly exposing their workers to asbestos. If you have been exposed to asbestos at work, contact Brayton Purcell, L.L.P. today.