Louisiana jobs requiring employees to work with or near asbestos may pay well, but the trade-off involves the risk of an asbestos-related illness. Employers must ensure their staff knows how to handle this material with minimal exposure to asbestos particles.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides clear guidance for employers to control exposure for their staff. However, employees can and should take measures to minimize their asbestos exposure further.
Wear protective gear
The use of personal protective gear can do much to minimize your exposure to asbestos while working. Ask your employer for a respirator designed to filter asbestos particles. It is also wise to use disposable outerwear (coveralls, shoe covers, etc.) when working anywhere asbestos is present.
Address contaminated clothing
Even with disposable outerwear protection, asbestos particles may cling to your clothing. These traces can enter your lungs even after your workday ends. You also risk carrying asbestos home and exposing your loved ones. Make sure to have your work clothes cleaned in a controlled environment and change to fresh clothing before leaving work.
Undergo medical monitoring
Since mesothelioma and other asbestos-related conditions can take many years to develop, early detection is critical. Routine healthcare screenings and checkups help you identify an illness early enough to get life-prolonging treatment. Informing your doctor that your occupation may expose you to asbestos fibers is also a wise move.
Your employer plays a vital role in minimizing your asbestos exposure. Consider learning about their responsibility for protecting you from asbestos so that you can spot hazardous situations or environments. Government agencies like OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) offer many resources for employers and workers.
If you already have mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease, learn more about your legal options. Doing so protects you and your family from the financial hardships that may arise because of your illness.