Many workers face a wide range of risks every day. While many of these risks are minor and unlikely, others could be serious and common. For certain occupations, there is a risk of harmful exposures. Take asbestos, for example. While it is fairly common to encounter this at least once in a lifetime, long-term exposure to asbestos particles could result in serious and even life-threatening occupational illnesses.
While most workers in Ohio and elsewhere are aware that asbestos exposure has risks, many are unsure how much exposure is harmful. Although the exact amount of time is not known, it typically takes 20 or more years of long-term exposure to cause exposure illnesses. Nonetheless, this does not mean short-term exposure cannot cause harm. There have been cases of workers developing mesothelioma only days after exposure in an area without proper ventilation.
There are various types of work that could present short-term and long-term exposure risks to asbestos. This includes asbestos mining and milling, automobile repair, building demolition, construction, drywall removal, firefighting, manufacturing asbestos textiles and products, shipbuilding, pipe fitting and welding. No matter the industry a person is in, however, it is important to understand when one is exposed to asbestos and monitor how his or her health is impacted by it.
Suffering a workplace illness could alter a worker's life significantly. And overtime it could be the workplace illness that has made it difficult or impossible for the worker to continue to maintain their job. In these instances, it may be possible to seek workers' compensation benefits. These benefits could help offset the damages caused by the workplace-related illness.