Asbestos: Not Gone and Not Forgotten

Asbestos Risks for Building Owners and Contractors
Asbestos materials in buildings, and the debilitating diseases caused by exposure to fibers from those materials has flown under the radar for many years. Publicity about this deadly material has been so sparse that many people have been lulled into thinking that either there is no asbestos in their building or it is not a problem. This is a risky misconception for building owners as the regulations that control this dangerous material make building owners responsible for any violations, even if the infringements are caused by contractors.

The risks to building owners are further magnified by the fact that there is no statute of limitations on asbestos violations. If work that disturbed asbestos-containing materials was done without proper controls one or two years ago, and a complaint arises from an employee or occupant who thinks they were exposed, an investigation can proceed. In such a situation, the documentation related to the incident had better be airtight since citations can be written based on paperwork deficiencies as well as current site conditions.

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