Around 1.3 million workers in the United States are exposed to asbestos at their workplaces. Unfortunately, an employee has filed a lawsuit alleging that your business is one such location. He or she is probably claiming that, while asbestos is a naturally occurring substance, he or she was at risk of inhaling asbestos fibers and developing serious problems at your business. Furthermore, he or she probably claims you were aware of this and did nothing about it. This might sound intimidating, but keep in mind you still have rights under Golden State law. For more information about your rights and responsibilities as dictated by California law, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Los Angeles County, California employment attorney today.
What are your responsibilities regarding asbestos exposure in your California workplace?
The Golden State requires all employers to maintain certain occupational standards for all employees, including:
- Training of employees who will be working with and around asbestos
- Properly ventilated workspaces
- Monitoring of employees for asbestos exposure levels, including daily monitoring for workers involved in the removal of asbestos-containing materials
- Warning signs and instructions in areas where asbestos-related work is performed
- Protective clothing like coveralls, gloves, foot coverings, face shields and goggles
- Protective equipment like respirators
- Showers and other post-exposure precautions
- Medical examinations for certain workers who are exposed to high levels of asbestos
What lines of work are prone to asbestos exposure in California?
Exposure to asbestos is still quite common in some lines of work. The following are some of the occupations with the most frequent and sustained exposure:
- Construction, renovation and demolition of commercial and residential buildings
- Heating and cooling equipment repair
- Automotive repair, especially brake and clutch repair
- Manufacture of products containing asbestos
- Janitorial jobs in buildings that contain deteriorating asbestos
What conditions might employees develop from asbestos exposure?
Long-term exposure to this carcinogen can lead to the following serious health problems:
- Lung cancer
- Mesothelioma, i.e. a form of cancer that invades the lining of the chest and abdomen
- Asbestosis, i.e. lung inflammation and buildup that can cause coughing, difficulty breathing and permanent lung damage
- Colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers
- Abnormalities, such as thickening and calcification, in the lining of the chest cavity
Whether or not you think there is any merit to your employee’s claim, you should reach out to a skilled Los Angeles, California labor lawyer today. Symptoms can take up to twenty years to manifest, so it is entirely possible that your employee was not sickened by your business. Even so, a jury might be sympathetic to their plight, in which case you need aggressive legal defense. Let us fight for you and your business’s future.
Contact Our Experienced Los Angeles Firm
Whether you are an employer or an employee involved in an employment-related dispute, you can rely on the legal team here at Lee Law Offices to fight for you. Our firm is also significantly experienced in matters involving church and commercial litigation. Contact us today so we can discuss your situation and determine the best path forward.