By this point in time almost everyone is aware of the danger posed by asbestos, a construction material that was commonly used throughout the last century. The problem is, however, that the dangers of asbestos exposure weren’t always known – it was only when workers began getting ill and developing deadly diseases that scientists and medical professionals made the connection between the toxic exposure to asbestos and potential health problems.
According to a recent report, Pennsylvania, in particular, has a major problem with asbestos. In fact, the report notes that Pennsylvania is third-highest in the list of all 50 states in terms of the rate of deaths caused by asbestos-related illnesses.
A disease that develops in a Pennsylvania worker due to asbestos exposure is what would be termed as an “occupational disease.” An occupational disease, as defined by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a disease that occurs due to a work environment or particular work-related event that led directly to the onset for the disease.
Employees in Pennsylvania, particularly those in the industrial and construction sectors, may potentially face the danger of being exposed to asbestos. In many circumstances, those workers may be able to claim workers’ compensation benefits if the exposure leads to an illness that forces the employee to miss time from work. Workers’ compensation could provide at least a portion of the income that the worker would miss due to being unable to work because of the illness. And, beyond that, if there was some degree of employer negligence that contributed to the worker being present in those hazardous conditions, there may be further legal options.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Pennsylvania’s Asbestos Problem,” Alex Formuzis, Nov. 19, 2015