Legal Duties of Employers in the Prevention of Asbestos and Mesothelioma Transmission
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in construction, shipbuilding, and other industries until the late 1970s. It is a highly hazardous material that can cause serious health problems, including mesothelioma, a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. Many workplaces have asbestos materials in the building. As a result, employers have a legal duty to take certain steps to protect their employees from exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma transmission.Duty to Provide a Safe Workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees. This includes taking steps to prevent exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma transmission. Employers must conduct regular inspections of their workplace to identify potential hazards and take steps to eliminate or control them. They must also provide training and personal protective equipment to employees who may be exposed to asbestos or other hazardous materials.Employer Failure to Uphold Duty
Unfortunately, many employers have failed to uphold their duty to protect their employees from exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma transmission. For example, some employers have knowingly exposed their employees to asbestos without providing proper protective equipment or training. In other cases, employers have failed to conduct regular inspections of their workplaces to identify potential hazards.
In Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Products Corp. (1973), Clarence Borel, a former insulator, sued his former employer, Fibreboard Paper Products Corp., after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The trial resulted in a verdict in favor of Borel and established that employers had a duty to protect employees from asbestos exposure and could be held liable for failing to do so.
In Martin v. Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. (1984), four former employees of Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. sued their former employer for exposing them to asbestos without providing proper protective equipment or training. The trial resulted in a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs and established that employers had a duty to warn employees about the dangers of asbestos exposure and provide them with appropriate safety equipment.Duty to Warn Employees of Potential Hazards
In addition to providing a safe workplace, employers also have a duty to warn their employees of potential hazards. This includes informing employees of the risks associated with asbestos exposure and providing information on how to minimize the risk of exposure. Employers must also ensure that employees understand the importance of following proper safety procedures and using protective equipment.
In Jenkins v. Raymark Industries, Inc. (1986), a group of employees worked at a brake factory and were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. The plaintiffs sued Raymark Industries, Inc., the manufacturer of the asbestos-containing brake products, for failing to provide warnings about the dangers of asbestos exposure. The trial resulted in a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs and established that manufacturers of asbestos-containing products could be held liable for failing to warn consumers about the dangers of asbestos exposure.Different State Interpretations of the Duty on Employers
The duty of employers to prevent asbestos and mesothelioma transmission is interpreted differently in different states. For example, some states require employers to provide annual asbestos awareness training to all employees, while others do not. Some states also have specific regulations regarding the disposal of asbestos-containing materials, while others do not.
In California, for example, employers are required to comply with the Asbestos Airborne Toxic Control Measure, which sets standards for asbestos exposure in the workplace. Employers must conduct regular air monitoring to ensure compliance with these standards and provide training and protective equipment to employees who may be exposed to asbestos.
In Texas, employers are required to comply with the Asbestos Health Protection Rules, which set standards for the handling and disposal of asbestos-containing materials. Employers must also provide training and protective equipment to employees who may be exposed to asbestos.Throneberry Law Group Can Assist Victims of Asbestos Exposure
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other health problems related to asbestos exposure, the Throneberry Law Group can help. The Throneberry Law Group is a nationwide mesothelioma law group that has helped many victims of asbestos exposure recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.