What are the Right of People Exposed to Asbestos?

People think of asbestos as an issue which is solely concerned with older homes. For that reason, they may not be aware of the fact that asbestos may remain a problem aboard many ships which may sail the seas these days. Ships built in the 80s and earlier might in fact have asbestos on board. As such, it is not uncommon for maritime workers to be sick because of asbestos exposure. This may be rather serious, as asbestos exposure has been associated to very serious health ailments which can ultimately cause loss of life.

What is asbestos?

Most of the time, people misapprehend that asbestos is chemical. Instead, asbestos is mineral, which inflates in size when it is exposed to heat. It has been widely used for long period of time as a kind of cheap insulation. But, over the time, health risks which it brings has become more and more apparent, and since then a lot have been working to remove asbestos fibers from their environments where the mineral is present. The hazard that it poses comes from inhaling the material, which is so easy to do if the material is disturbed since it would be on boat, as asbestos is a bit brittle.

Why is asbestos hazardous?

As aforementioned, asbestos has been associated to various serious medical issues. Extended exposures has been associated to lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, all of which are tremendously serious. These medical ailments which arise from asbestos exposure have resulted in the deaths of almost 100,000 individuals in the United States alone, as well as even more people all over the world.

Where May Asbestos Be Located on a Vesselor Shipyard?

In older ships, a maritime worker might expect to find asbestos in various different places. Asbestos can have been used as the general insulation in the boat itself. Also it may have been used to wrap and protect components in ships, such as boilers and engines. Since these components are often those maritime workers will find themselves around all the time, the risk of significant exposure to the mineral, when it is present on the boat, is so high. Asbestos is most likely found in any older parts which may be present in the vessel. Most likely, asbestos will have been used as a form of insulation. But, it may also be present in older vessel which is under repair in the shipyard.

How is Asbestos Mineral Regulated?

Given the serious threat which asbestos poses to the health of labors, the detection and the removal of asbestos is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration. These guidelines spell out what employers are required to do when asbestos is evident in any given work environment, as well as what steps that they have to take so as to remove the threat that asbestos poses. If employer fails to follow these guidelines, then worker is eligible to get compensation and damages from that employer.

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