Improper asbestos abatement remains an urgent concern throughout the nation. Each year, asbestos companies and its owners are being fined and even jailed for putting people’s lives in danger. If you suspect an asbestos violation, it’s important to report it properly for the sake of not only holding the liable party responsible, but also to help keep your community as safe as possible. Additionally, you can help keep others safe by thoroughly checking out an asbestos abatement company prior to hiring them.
How To Check Out Asbestos Companies
If you need to hire an asbestos contractor, whether for your home or for a business, it’s important to check the company’s background and certifications beforehand. The following tips can help you make an informed decision and ensure that you did you best to hire trustworthy workers.
- Always check out not only the company’s accreditation, but each worker’s accreditation as well. Those involved in asbestos abatement must be qualified and trained by their respective states.
- A supervisor must be on the job site while asbestos abatement is taking place. If a supervisor isn’t on site, inquire immediately to found out where they are. Supervisors are responsible for first-aid kits, wetting asbestos, and protecting workers.
- Prior to hiring a company, check its background by visiting the official Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website. Look for the “How To” section on the homepage, and click on “Find out if OSHA has inspected a workplace.”
- For any general asbestos questions, including your specific state’s laws, contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1-800-368-5888. If you need assistance contact us directly at 800-694-4856 and we’ll be happy to help you.
How to Report Asbestos Abatement Violations
If you suspect a company is violating asbestos laws in your area, you can send a complaint to the EPA via their “Report Environmental Violations” form. You’ll need to list the company name, supervisor’s name and address, and the date the incident occurred. Although you can send in the complaint anonymously, the EPA suggests providing your contact information in case any additional information about the violation is needed.
If you’re unsure what constitutes an asbestos abatement violation, be certain to review the different laws and regulations on the EPA’s federal website. In general, a contractor or company is in violation if they:
- Are not trained and qualified to handle asbestos
- Do not dispose of asbestos properly, which typically includes placing it in airtight containers that are clearly labeled and taking the containers to the appropriate disposal site
- Do not have a on-site supervisor while working with and around asbestos
- Fail to properly wet asbestos
- Fail to display required hazardous warning signs
- Fail to notify the EPA of asbestos removal projects
- Fail to keep required documentation
According to EPA spokesperson Elias Rodriguez, these laws, in addition to numerous others, are put into place in order to keep workers and the general public safe from asbestos fibers. Once asbestos fibers are released into the air, people can easily ingest/inhale them, which can lead to serious, life-threatening illnesses such as malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancera.
“The Clean Air Act requires work practice safeguards in asbestos removal and renovation projects to prevent the release of asbestos fibers.”
Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-related lung cancer, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. There is currently over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who are victims to asbestos-related diseases. Use our free Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool today to find a leading mesothelioma attorney in your area. For additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.