Illinois asbestos exposure attorneys have helped to ensure compensation for thousands of victims of asbestos-related illnesses, yet negligent companies continue to commit serious asbestos violations. Now a Cicero company is being forced to pay more than $1 million in fines for failing to protect its workers from asbestos exposure. This is another disturbing example of a local company that refused to take even the most basic safety precautions and exposed its employees to deadly asbestos fibers. Each year, more than 90,000 people die from asbestos exposure, and Illinois companies are increasingly to blame.
The latest violations by AMD Industries were revealed on May 25th by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The agency began investigating the Illinois company after a safety audit uncovered asbestos on boilers, heating units, and pipes. AMD ordered its workers to remove the asbestos products but it did not take reasonable steps to protect them from exposure to cancer-causing materials. It did not properly equip workers with protective clothing, warn them of the risks, or install protective respirators. Airborne concentrations of asbestos were left unmonitored throughout the entire removal process. Workers were allowed to cut asbestos-products with a reciprocating saw and the materials were not disposed of in sealed, airtight containers. These are blatant violations of agency regulations that are intended to shield employees from dangerous asbestos exposure. AMD’s negligent actions put AMD employees and the entire general public at risk.
Illinois asbestos lawyers at Pintas & Mullins are encouraged by the fact that government regulators are taking steps to protect the public from toxic asbestos fibers, but it is clear to us that more needs to be done. Every day companies in Illinois and around the nation continue to endanger the lives of employees and other members of the public who are indirectly exposed to the hazardous mineral. Even small amounts of asbestos can create a risk for mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer. We have seen firsthand the impact that these deadly diseases can have on workers and their families. There is a risk of death or serious bodily harm for all victims of asbestos exposure.
Some companies have started to recognize the risk inherent in toxic asbestos fibers and have complied with regulations aimed at protecting employees and their relatives. But other companies continue to subject employees to dangerous asbestos practices, and the consequences of this negligent behavior are deadly. Symptoms of an asbestos-related disease can hide in the body for dozens of years, eventually developing into a malignant tumor. By the time the disease is detected, it is often too late. Mesothelioma lawyers can help secure compensation for family members of workers who lose their battle with the disease, but these tragedies can and should be prevented. Companies need to take reasonable steps to protect the lives of their employees.
Many people mistakenly believe that asbestos is no longer present in the environment, or is only found in older buildings and factories. But asbestos violations continue to occur each and every day, and negligent companies need to be held responsible. Innocent workers should not be exposed to asbestos-containing materials that lead to deadly illnesses. A lawsuit can help offset the financial loss to families who have been harmed by an asbestos-related disease, but the only way to truly prevent harm is to eliminate exposure at companies and job sites nationwide.