Jobs that expose you to dangerous asbestos fibers usually pay well to compensate you for hazardous work conditions. Your employer must also provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to shield you from asbestos-related diseases.
Unfortunately, not all PPE is suitable for all jobs. In other words, the gear employers provide must be designed to protect workers from specific hazards. If your PPE does not guard against asbestos exposure, you could face substantial health problems down the road.
Protecting your respiratory system
Many Louisiana industries (like shipbuilding and construction) still use products containing asbestos or work directly with the substance, like with removal. Employees need respirators and filters that prevent the inhalation of asbestos fibers.
Bandanas and generic face masks cannot stop asbestos from entering your respiratory system. Those disposable N95 masks are also useless against these tiny fibers. Workers generally need full- or half-face respirator systems, depending on their occupation, for optimum protection.
The respirator should be equipped with a high-efficiency filter, preferably one certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH-approved P100 filters have an efficiency rating of 99.97%, making them an excellent all-around option.
Make a plan
Even with the use of PPE, you could still develop asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. Whether you are new to your job or a seasoned veteran, an action plan is critical in case illness symptoms arise.
To build a solid foundation for your plan, keep detailed employment records and get routine health screenings to identify an illness early. Many also find it beneficial to seek legal guidance before or after an asbestos illness manifests any symptoms.