Many of us had this past Monday off of work, in honor of Labor Day. This holiday has been celebrated for over 100 years and is a continual reminder of the hard work, dedication, and strength of our nation.
In the midst of celebration, many Americans do not realize that our blue-collar workers are at high-risk for asbestos exposure every day on the job. Prolonged exposure can lead to serious diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma, and eventually death. It is not uncommon to hear about a military veteran being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, but many modern-day workers are suffering from exposure as well.
Here are a few everyday laborers who have to worry about asbestos exposure at work:
Electricians: Electricians are constantly working within older homes and buildings which contain asbestos materials. Insulation for wiring and high-voltage switchgear are just two places electricians commonly encounter asbestos, or when they work around fireproofing and joint compounds.
Auto Mechanics: The brake lining and clutches of automobiles are known to contain asbestos fibers, and have been exposing auto mechanics to the substance for decades. Many mechanics breathe in asbestos dust when testing and repairing the brakes of cars.
Plumbers: Given that many of America’s residential buildings were built with asbestos materials, it is no wonder plumbers often are exposed to the substance as well. Plumbers often work with asbestos cement water and sewer pipe, flue pipe, gaskets, asbestos-running rope, and plumbers putty.
Despite the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) working to regulate the amount of exposure that workers encounter on a daily basis, many employers have been found guilty of improperly training employees to handle the substance, or ignoring it altogether.
Many workers diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, and their families, have won compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more as a result of exposure on the job. Contacting a lawyer experienced in occupational asbestos exposure is one of the first things you should consider following a diagnosis.