Many people who work in dangerous professions, including shipyard workers, factory employees and mechanics, go into their blue-collar professions because they want to provide a decent standard of living for their families. They work long hours performing manual labor and sometimes injure or sicken themselves through their efforts. Workers who handle asbestos at work are at elevated risk of cancer and other illnesses, like asbestosis.
Workers might also unknowingly expose their loved ones to this known human carcinogen and put them at risk of cancer as well.
Secondary or second-hand exposure can kill people
Employers have historically failed to take asbestos as seriously as they should. Some companies didn’t even warn staff members about the potential for asbestos exposure, and many others failed to take appropriate precautionary measures to protect their employees.
If workers didn’t have adequate protective equipment or sanitation facilities, they may very well have brought asbestos home to their loved ones. A spouse or child hugging someone with asbestos on their clothing, skin or hair could inhale some small amounts of particular asbestos. The workers could also unintentionally track the asbestos into their homes, where it could get stirred up when people walk across the carpet or sit on upholstered furniture.
There has been an uptick in certain kinds of cancer in recent years that seems to indicate that the family members of those who handled asbestos are now seeing the medical consequences of their loved one’s employment. Workers who get sick and their dependent family members may have reason to bring a claim against the employer that exposed someone to asbestos.
Understanding who is at risk of asbestos-related illness can help people connect their condition with their job or the employment of a family member.