Exposing workers to hazards may be costly for companies.

An Australian court reiterated the importance of safety in a workplace when it comes to asbestos when it ruled that a company exposed workers to asbestos dust even though it knew of the potential health consequences.

The company now faces claims for millions of dollars of punitive damages.

An 86-year-old former shipyard worker sued the company under the state’s Dust Diseases Act, saying he developed asbestosis because of the exposure to asbestos dust.

The court ruled in his favor because he could prove that the company knew he was at risk of exposure when he worked at the shipyard in the 1970s and that the company was also aware that he could get sick from it.

Asbestosis is a lung disease that occurs from breathing in asbestos fibers, which causes scar tissue to form inside the lung. Symptoms include chest pain, cough, shortness of breath and more. There is no cure.

The worker and his council said the decision was important not only for the interpretation of the Dust Diseases Act but also for hundreds of other similar claims that were still before the courts.

Source: The Australian

Air cleaners for asbestos remediation and other workplace hazards

Even though asbestos has been heavily regulated in the past few decades, many buildings still feature asbestos-containing materials that may be a health hazard to the workers there.

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