Exposed to Asbestos at Work: What Next?

asbestos hazards

Working with, in, and around asbestos is a common component of many professions.

Knowledge about its potential dangers has led to an abundance of precaution for the men and women exposed to this deadly substance on a daily basis.

But mistakes are always going to be made and accidents will inevitably happen.

In the event you or a loved one is directly exposed to asbestos in the fulfillment of occupational duties, what happens next?

Here’s a list of objectives for anyone put in this unfortunate position:

Get Attention

Supervisors should be immediately notified of any safety failure or oversight leading to unguarded asbestos exposure.

So many different industries and fields involve asbestos risks on the job, there’s a chance management may be oblivious to the existing exposure.

These weak points need to be addressed as soon as possible in order to prevent any more employees from being put in danger.

With life and limb potentially on the line, always remember you have a responsibility to yourself and those who depend on you to be your own guardian angel.

Get Examined

The health effects of inhaling asbestos can take years to appear. This step in following up on dangerous exposures may involve several visits to the doctor over several years if not decades.

It’s important to participate in a medical surveillance program in the wake of asbestos exposure. Doing so increases the chances of early detection.

It also creates a health record which, in hindsight of a diagnosis, can be useful in forming treatment and fighting the legal battles against parties liable.

Get a Lawyer

It’s wise to seek legal assistance if asbestos-related medical complications are detected by a physician. Worker’s compensation is often not enough to cover the costs arising from a diagnosis connected to asbestos exposure.

A properly-vetted law firm specializing in asbestos-related personal injury cases is typically required when going up against the experienced legal counsel employed by the industries at fault.

They’ll know the court system, be familiar with the opposition, and help expedite what is otherwise a lengthy process.

It sounds like TV commercial garbage, but sometimes these firms really can make big companies quiver and settle with their reputation.

Get Information

The more you know about the nature of asbestos, its prevalence in building materials and sources of manufacturing, and the signs and symptoms of lung tissue disorders related to asbestos exposure, the better prepared you are to tackle the health and legal hurdles on both a material and emotional level.

Being diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness or worse — having a loved one diagnosed — is one of the most challenging experiences people can undergo. It may be difficult to face at first, but learning information is where understanding and acceptance are found.

The “golden age” of asbestos is seemingly behind us. But to this day, many working professionals continue to handle and work around the potentially deadly substance.

The overwhelming majority of these people will go through their entire careers without so much as a chronic cough.

But some, especially those who are dangerously exposed to asbestos through mismanagement or mistake, are at great risk of developing life-threatening lung diseases.

What these few do in the aftermath of such an event will have a tremendous impact on their lives and those of their loved ones.

(Photo by CMS / CC BY)

Tina Su is the editor at Work Awesome and Think Simple Now.


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