According to a new report, a Bay City contractor paid homeless people cash to help remove pipes from a church. The pipes were wrapped with insulation containing asbestos. Claims state the contractor recruited the workers from a homeless shelter, but the individuals had no training. They were supposedly not provided with safety gear, water for crumbly asbestos, or leak-proof bags to dispose of it.
The report claims that some of the homeless individuals performed the job duties while dressed in t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. Of the crew, the workers consisted of an ex-convict, at least six residents from Good Samaritan Rescue Mission, and a drug addict. The mission was located just across a parking lot from the church renovation.
The individuals claim that at one point, dust as thick as snow poured down from the ceiling with asbestos.
An investigation by the Detroit Free Press looked across the country, finding similar incidents in which other contractors used individuals in vulnerable positions to remove asbestos from buildings. This includes immigrants, ex-cons, teens, homeless people, and day laborers. The issue arises when these individuals are not provided the proper safety equipment necessary to protect them from asbestos exposure.
These individuals may be hesitant to report the issue due to fear or not knowing who to call.
This is a serious matter and those who expose individuals to asbestos without safety gear should be held accountable for their actions. Exposure to asbestos can result in the individual developing mesothelioma, a fatal cancer.
Our mesothelioma attorneys at Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC understand the dangers involved in asbestos exposure. We want to help individuals who have been harmed take legal action against those who placed them in vulnerable positions. If you have been exposed to asbestos without having the proper gear or training, call our firm. It can take years for the body to exhibit signs of mesothelioma. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and learn how we may be able to help.