Preventing Work-Related Mesothelioma - St. Louis Mesothelioma Lawyer

by James M. Hoffmann on May. 06, 2016

Employment Workers' Compensation Accident & Injury Employment  Occupational Safety & Health 

Summary: Occupational exposure to asbestos can cause serious illnesses and the most severe among them is mesothelioma.

st louis mesothelioma lawyer asbestos exposure

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that results from asbestos exposure. In order to prevent health hazards posed by asbestos exposure, federal guidelines are used to reduce asbestos exposure and prevent mesothelioma. Employers are required to follow federal guidelines to reduce the exposure of workers to asbestos.

Work-Related Asbestos Exposure

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) asbesto safety guide identifies four key sources of asbestos exposure:

  • skin contact
  • inhalation
  • ingestion
  • eye contact

Safety Guidelines

In order to ensure worker safety, the following steps are recommended:

  • prevent eye and skin contact with asbestos
  • change clothes daily
  • wash skin daily with soap and water
  • wash eyes with clean water immediately upon exposure
  • get fresh air when needed

Depending on the environmental conditions, employers should make available one of several types of respirators for workers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), workers must use respirators approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration or by NIOSH.

Authorities have set conservative limits on the exposure to asbestos fibers to prevent mesothelioma and other types of cancers. For example, for fibers longer than 5 micrometers, the limit is 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air. Employers are required to use one of the approved testing methods to ensure compliance.

Protective Measure for Workers Handling Asbestos

The CDC lists protective measures for workers involved in demolishing buildings, removing asbestos, and manufacturing asbestos containing products. Some of the recommended measures include using a wet process whenever possible, enclosing the area, and using exhaust ventilation or water sprays. There are other workplace safety measures that can help reduce asbestos exposure, including:

  • Providing protective clothing to workers who handle asbestos.
  • Providing eye wash fountains near work areas where asbestos is present.
  • Requiring workers to take a shower after each shift.
  • Informing professional cleaners about the presence of asbestos.
  • Placing contaminated clothing in a marked container after use.

To reduce additional exposure, workers are advised against eating, drinking, smoking, and using tobacco or other chewing products near the workplace where asbestos may be present.

Contact a St. Louis Mesothelioma Lawyer

By following these safety measures, employers can reduce exposure and workers' compensation claims. If you have developed mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos, contact a St. Louis mesothelioma lawyer. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 631-4300.

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