January 27, 2013—Henderson County, Kentucky—An elementary school that had been closed due to a potential asbestos disturbance is due to reopen after the Department of Environmental Protection determined there was no risk to teachers and students. Injuries that happen on a property that someone else owns, and when that owner has been negligent, are usually referred to under the umbrella of premises liability.

Asbestos Exposure Leads To School Closing

School officials in Henderson County, Kentucky, held a press conference to announce that they had discovered a potential asbestos disturbance at South Heights Elementary School.  Officials advised parents to keep children home and told teachers not to come to work until the problem was investigated and resolved.

The scare occurred when workers who were removing carpet in third, fourth and fifth-grade classrooms discovered what they believed to be asbestos and alerted school officials.  In order to protect the children and employees, the school system elected to shut down operations at the elementary school until the problem could be resolved.

Environmental engineers were dispatched to take readings and found that there were no free-floating asbestos particles or any reason to suspect that students and staff might be exposed to asbestos.  The school system decided to send children back to school after the findings, according to a recent news report.

Organizations Take Asbestos Seriously

Given the number of injuries and lawsuits regarding asbestos exposure, it is no wonder that agencies and employers take the threat of an asbestos incident seriously.

Asbestos exposure has been linked with serious and deadly diseases such as mesothelioma, a particularly aggressive cancer of the lungs that has a very high mortality rate.  Many workers exposed to asbestos in buildings and ships have developed this terrible disease, and some of the injured workers and their survivors have filed lawsuits aimed at recovering damages from employers who knowingly exposed their workers to these hazards.

Safety Tips for Asbestos Handling

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued the following guidelines to reduce the risk of asbestos exposure for construction workers and others:

  • Employers are required to provide personal exposure monitoring equipment that accurately measures the amount of exposure to asbestos
  • Employer must provide hazard awareness training to employees to inform them of the dangers of asbestos exposure
  • Regulated areas must be established in any location where asbestos levels exceed legal exposure limits
  • Employers must reduce exposure through engineering controls of airborne levels of asbestos and cleanup if necessary
  • Employers must provide effective personal protective equipment to workers
  • Employers must provide medical monitoring to workers who have exceeded exposure levels or times

If you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos on the job or elsewhere, see a medical professional immediately.  You should also contact a personal injury attorney who can help you recover money to pay for your medical treatment and any injuries you may have sustained as a result of your exposure.  Victims may be entitled to payment of medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of income, and other damages as a result of developing mesothelioma or other diseases related to exposure to asbestos.