New York, NY- The city of New York enacted several new regulations and laws to help protect and ensure the safety of asbestos abatement contractors and workers, who handle the toxic asbestos fibers that are prevalent in buildings throughout the city. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of Buildings (DOB), and the New York Fire Department (FDNY) have joined together to ensure that New York City’s workers, and residents are protected from the known cancer-causing carcinogen, as reported by the DEP.
The newly enacted laws will impact how pending asbestos projects are filed within the city, how they are approved and inspected. The laws will also initiate new levels of partnership between the DEP, DOB, and the FDNY, who will oversee asbestos abatement and construction safety. Under the new regulations, asbestos abatement projects and demolition projects cannot be conducted simultaneously, which will ensure that workers who are inside the building are all wearing protective clothing while the abatement project is underway. Before, under the old laws, it was common for demolition crews to only wear dust masks or respirators in the same vicinity as abatement activities. In addition, abatement contractors must now pass stricter, lengthier exams before becoming a licensed asbestos abatement contractor. Workers also cannot use matches, cigarette lighters, open flames, smoke cigarettes, or other tobacco use while working in the same area where an asbestos abatement project is being conducted. This is to keep abatement workers from removing their protective gear while in contaminated areas for smoking breaks.
Asbestos fibers are a serious respiratory health hazard, which has been proven to be toxic and even deadly. When workers, laborers, residents, and consumers are exposed to asbestos containing materials or areas that are contaminated with asbestos, the risk for illness, injury, and fatal disease is often high. There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos fibers, which can cause cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
News article by Asbestos Mesothelioma litigation attorneys: Cooney & Conway.
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