What Happens if You Have Been Exposed to Asbestos at Work?
Every single day across the U.S., 1.3 million people go to a construction workplace and are immediately exposed to the ill effects of asbestos. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversee health risks in the workplace to eliminate them altogether, with a huge focus on reducing the rates of mesothelioma caused by asbestos. But what is asbestos?
Asbestos is a fibrous material that is naturally occurring and has been used in a variety of occupations over the years. It has great durability as well as resistance to heat and flame, making it the perfect candidate in many cases. Mesothelioma, which stems from working with asbestos, can be extremely deadly. Since asbestos occurs naturally in the environment, anyone breathes it in every day. However, with long-term exposure, you are more likely to suffer from negative health effects. Even with short-term exposure, you could find yourself in a position where you receive breathing issues, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Construction is one of the most hazardous industries in the entire U.S. There is a variety of injuries and illnesses that can stem from the construction industry and put workers at risk. Many of these dangers can be found due to falls and heavy objects striking employees over the head. However, 17% of construction injuries are due to exposure to toxic materials, with the most deadly being asbestos. Approximately 10,000 workers will die over the next ten years due to Mesothelioma caused by asbestos due to not taking protective measures in the workplace. Often times, employers fail to train or provide equipment to employees that could have saved their lives.
How Does Asbestos Cause Harm?
Asbestos begins to cause harm when you have been exposed for quite some time. The fibers associated with these health risks cannot be seen right off the bat. They tend to cause scar-like tissues in the lungs known as asbestosis and lung function is decreased or ceases completely. This could lead to long-term disability for many workers, as well as death. It has been realized over the years that there is no “safe” level of asbestos exposure in the workplace. In fact, it has been found that asbestos exposure of only a few days in duration could lead to mesothelioma in humans, which are the risks that make it particularly dangerous.
When You Have Fallen Ill
If you have fallen ill due to workplace exposure, there are some steps that must be taken before you make your claim. First of all, you should always have an experienced attorney on your side, as these cases can become complicated quite quickly. You should always bring relevant information that relates to your case with you when you speak to your attorney, such as medical records, like chest x-rays and test results that show you have mesothelioma and that your workplace exposure caused it. You want to present to your attorney what your duties were in your construction workplace and the materials that you handled on a daily basis. It is important not to leave out any aspects of care when you are speaking to your attorney, as it could become important in your case. Call us today at the Los Angeles Injury Group for more help with your case, at 310-954-7248.