Many industrial workplaces contain health hazards, regardless of governmental rules and regulations which attempt to maintain acceptable safety conditions. Industrial chemicals can be toxic after prolonged exposure, or even short-term exposure, despite efforts to restrict them to a specific concentration in the atmosphere.
Of course, bodily contact with many hazardous materials can result in immediate, severe injury, and all industries producing or using these chemicals have specific and rigorous safety programs and procedures addressing handling of these materials. But, while immediate dangers can exist in industrial workplaces, the most common problem associated with employee health concerns is still asbestos exposure.
Asbestos Exposure Possibilities
Asbestos exposure can occur in a variety of ways, but construction workers and removal specialists are probably the most vulnerable. Most countries have banned or controlled the use of asbestos in the various products that incorporate this deadly fiber, but many existing buildings and infrastructure components still contain the needle-like fiber as a building material ingredient. Asbestos abatement has been a focus in many countries during the past 30 years, but countries such as India have never banned the material and products continue to be produced. This also means that raw material handlers are still being exposed, even though the governments of the countries allowing asbestos inclusion say that proper handling will eliminate or reduce toxic exposure. The problem with proving this claim is the long-term incubation period of asbestos-related cancer also known as mesothelioma.
What is Mesothelioma?
Studies have shown that mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that occurs only from direct exposure to asbestos, and this deadly contact is always made through the lungs. Mesothelioma takes approximately 20 years to manifest, but symptoms of the disease can occur before the cancer is fully developed. Anyone who has worked as an asbestos abatement specialist should be tested by a professional medical facility that specializes in identification and treatment of the disease. There is no known cure for mesothelioma, so many of the legal claims associated with the disease are wrongful death claims.
Filing a Claim
Because of the extraordinarily long “gestational” period before the manifestation of the disease, the statute of limitations is modified for asbestosis sufferers. However, the clock begins ticking with verified medical evidence. The asbestos production companies have established a trust fund for those suffering from asbestos exposure, but the process is long and complicated, which means the newly diagnosed employee may have difficulty navigating the claim effectively. The best decision is always to retain counsel, a NYC mesothelioma lawyer or an attorney in your own community who is experienced in handling these complicated cases.
Also, the spouses of affected workers may be eligible for a claim because they can come in contact with asbestos via secondary exposure, by washing contaminated work clothing, for example. The trust fund also rejects many claims, so winning a damage award is not as simple as filing paperwork. Legal hearings will be a component of any claim, as employment records must be established along with verifiable medical records. Always get an experienced attorney.
For anyone working with hazardous materials, a workplace injury lurks around every corner every day. These occupations can be regularly covered under a union contract, and income in these industries is usually significant. This also means that any workers’ compensation claim for toxic exposure to any chemical can result in a sizable settlement from the particular respondents. It is important for any worker who comes in contact with potentially damaging industrial materials to be thoroughly evaluated in a medical facility and to contact an attorney with the results to investigate the possibility of a legal claim.
Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell shudders at the idea of such a horrendously debilitating disease and hopes that mesothelioma patients will seek the services of a NYC mesothelioma lawyer like The Perecman Law Firm to compensation them for their suffering.