The New Jersey attorney general’s office is investigating a demolition crew concerning the unlawful removal of asbestos from a closed hospital. The business was charged with a number of violations including the release and/or abandonment of toxic pollutants, and violation of the Asbestos Control and Licensing Act.
Concerning the cleanup of buildings, the utmost care must be taken – and premises liability can be applied when such care is not conducted. It appears that the above mentioned business did for a number of months use untrained laborers in cleaning up the asbestos. It is also alleged that such cleanup was conducted with the goal of obtaining steel and copper from the premises rather than the safe removal of asbestos.
This incident demonstrates why many businesses cannot be trusted to police themselves. Too often, such businesses place profits above safety – even above safety of the employees that work for the business. Attorneys that understand the dangers of such a substance as asbestos will take on such companies, and take additional steps to make certain that such practices are halted.
Asbestos cleanup needs to be conducted with care because of the long term health consequences that can occur when asbestos fibers are breathed in by workers or tenants at a building. Such exposure can lead to various illnesses such as lung cancer and mesothelioma – ailments that are generally incurable. And it’s because of such dangers that so many stringent requirements need to be met when asbestos cleanups are conducted.
The above business used untrained workers from a halfway house to remove the asbestos. Many bags of the asbestos were simply buried. Other bags of asbestos were dumped upon the floor of the boiler room.
It appears no care was taken whatsoever concerning the asbestos disposal.
Source: Construction & Demolition Recycling, “NJ Contractors Indicted for Unsafe Asbestos Removal,” June 21, 2012