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Improper asbestos abatement puts lives at risk

Whether a building is being torn down or renovated, owners and general contractors need to remain cautious. Many older buildings still consist of materials containing asbestos, and if not properly removed, this toxic substance can wreak havoc on the health of workers at the sight, and possibly even people in the surrounding area. This is why Georgia and the federal government require certain measures to be taken during asbestos abatement projects.

One general construction contractor and an asbestos abatement company recently discovered what could happen when these rules are not followed. Government officials in another state say that during the renovation of a five-story building, asbestos was released into the air when certain asbestos containing materials were crushed out in the open and left dry. This put everyone in the vicinity, workers and non-workers alike, at risk of exposure.

However, this is not the only transgression alleged by officials in Massachusetts, which is where the building in question is located. Supposedly, the companies also put materials containing asbestos into bags that were torn, which allows the dust and fibers to escape into the air. The companies in question are also accused of failing to perform the required surveys to locate asbestos, of failing to notify the proper authorities and of failing to follow proper removal and demolition procedures.

Just as would be the case for workers and others here in Georgia, anyone at or near a site in which these actions took place could end up suffering from asbestos-related illnesses at some point in the future. Anyone who knows that he or she was exposed to asbestos may benefit from undergoing periodic medical examinations. In addition, it may be beneficial to gain an understanding of his or her rights should the possibility of contracting an illness become a reality.

Source: eagletribune.com, "Companies pay hefty settlement for illegal asbestos work on Harbor Place project in Haverhill", Paul Tennant, Dec. 20, 2017

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