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There are federal standards that businesses must follow when dealing with a building that is known to contain asbestos. In a recent development, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a health care facility for violations that exposed maintenance workers to asbestos when they worked in the facility.
The citations note that The Monroe Clinic found out about the asbestos presence in 2008; however, the company didn't reveal that information to the maintenance workers or provide those workers with the appropriate safety gear. This means that all of the maintenance workers who came into contact with the asbestos are now at risk of developing potentially fatal medical conditions as a result of that exposure.
There is also a chance that other workers at the facility were exposed to the asbestos as maintenance workers went about their duties. These duties included working in the crawl spaces, on the boilers and around ceiling tiles.
Asbestos-related conditions include the always-fatal cancer, mesothelioma. It also includes asbestosis and other lung conditions. These conditions all require close monitoring and medical care. Some conditions can be treated, but other conditions mean that the person who was exposed to asbestos can only take steps to try to remain comfortable.
Conditions like pleural effusions and pleural plaque are possible. While pleural plaque isn't associated with symptoms, pleural effusions can cause pain as the fluid builds up around the lungs.
Many of these asbestos-related conditions would prevent a person from being able to work. Seeking compensation is possible in these cases either through workers' compensation or through a personal injury claim. Knowing when you can file which type of claim and how each type of claim can impact your future can help you decide what to do.
Source: WorkersCompensation.com, "OSHA Finds Wisconsin Medical Clinic Exposed Workers to Asbestos Hazards," Jan. 03, 2017