Construction workers face some of the highest risks of exposure to asbestos of any industry. Construction workers risks of asbestos exposure remains a problem because, unlike many other industries, encountering asbestos materials can still occur on a regular basis.
Projects involving structures built before the 1980s have a high likelihood of containing asbestos materials. Certain older structures, like chemical plants and facilities with boilers, have a nearly 100% chance of having asbestos.
Aging materials like frayed insulation can easily eject asbestos fibers into the air. Construction activities also frequently generate a good deal of dust. As asbestos fibers mix within this dust, the chance of the dust getting disturbed is extremely high. Without proper precautions, asbestos fibers from dust or air can easily be inhaled into to the respiratory system or swallowed into the digestive track.
Construction Industry Asbestos Regulations
OSHA requires construction companies to follow strict practices regarding asbestos-related activities. They mandate appropriate training, personal protective equipment, and clear visual warnings. Construction companies found in violation of these guidelines could potentially face strict liability in court for their actions which resulted in illnesses or environmental violations. Companies who engaged in unsafe practices before regulations were in place also could potentially face liability for exposure.
Separate from civil cases, OSHA proposes major fines for construction companies that run afoul of mandatory asbestos laws. Such penalties easily range from $20,000 to $40,000.
Construction Worker Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Risk
Through demolition, renovation and even new material installation activities, construction companies can expose workers to asbestos on a daily basis. If proper precautions were not taken, those workers face a high risk of developing asbestos-related cancers.
A study of a random sample of 952 mesothelioma cancer victims found that nearly 25% worked in construction. Researchers found amphibole fibers in high concentrations among exposure victims.
Construction Products Likely to Contain Asbestos
- Spray on insulation
- Joint and putty compounds
- Tile grout
- Ceramic, vinyl and linoleum tiles
- Roofing felt, bitumen and shingles
- Batts insulation
- Piping insulation
- Cement board
- Fireproofing materials
- Drywall taping compounds
- Zonolite insulation
- Gunning mix
- Electrical panel insulation and cloth
- Heavy machinery and boiler insulation
- Roofing tiles
If you or a loved one once worked in construction and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related lung cancer, contact Mesowatch today. You will receive immediate assistance and a free, confidential case evaluation. Then, connect with our nationwide team of experienced asbestos attorneys who will quickly identify all liable parties and trust funds and pursue the maximum possible compensation for your losses.