While it may be true that those engaging in asbestos removal understand the risk of workplace injuries, on account of exposure to a substance known to cause cancer, dangers from other sources are not necessarily foreseeable.
Workers removing hazardous asbestos from a steel mill recently faced a different and dramatic risk when the building they were working in suddenly collapsed around them.
While the details are scarce, it seems that part of the mill caved in while the workers were removing asbestos. Out of the 13 men involved in the accident, nine were injured, but fortunately, there were no fatalities. One of the injured workers is from Ohio.
The main question at this point is how the collapse occurred. The company responsible for clearing the property has remained silent on what transpired prior to the incident, but a police report states that workers were demolishing one end of the building at the same time the asbestos removal crew was busy working at the other end.
It is not clear whether either group was aware of the other’s presence, whether there was negligence involved, or whether the cave-in was simply an unpreventable accident. State officials say that it may take months of investigation before any assignment of fault or blame can be made.
Regardless of where the blame may lie in this matter, it is indisputable that nine men were injured in a workplace accident. The purpose behind workers’ compensation is to provide a remedy for victims of on-the-job injuries; the benefits provide compensation for such things as lost wages and medical care.
Victims of workplace accident are often wise to consult workplace accident attorneys in order to help ensure they obtain workers’ compensation benefits and pursue any third-party claims that may be possible.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Workers were 40 feet in air before Sparrows Point collapse,” Jessica Anderson, May 6, 2014