It is hard to believe that workers are still exposed to asbestos while on the job. The dangerous substance was declared to be a hazard to human health in the late 1970s. Since then, the use of the substance has declined, yet older construction materials and other asbestos-containing products remain potential threats to workers.
Recently, firefighters from Orlando, FL were sent to train in an older apartment building filled with asbestos products and materials. The firefighters were never made aware of the asbestos prior to the training, yet the presence of the substance had been “well documented in city files before the firefighters were sent in to do the work.” Asbestos was present in the ceilings, floor tiles, and ductwork of the building.
Exposure to asbestos can lead to rare and fatal diseases, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. What is worse is that the firefighters may not know they have developed a disease related to their exposure until well after retirement, due to the latency period of the conditions. It can take years or decades before symptoms appear.
Thankfully, the Orlando Fire Department has shut down training operations within the apartment building for good. All employees are entitled to a safe environment to train and work within while on the job. Despite this, employers continue to put their workers’ health at risk in the workplace.
Source: WFTV 9