There are many industries that exposed their works to harmful asbestos fibers and this is true of the mining industry in Kentucky. Mining and construction are occupations that carry serious hazards, almost completely due to the fact that most of the work will take place in confined areas with less than ideal ventilation. When combined with a lack of safety equipment and knowledge of the true dangers of asbestos, thousands of Kentucky residents have likely inhaled the dangerous fibers and are now at risk of developing asbestos related illnesses. Kentucky asbestos laws work in conjunction with federal to prevent exposure of friable material, ensure the safety of workers, and provide adequate regulation for the removal of asbestos from residences.
Why is asbestos a regulated material?
The federal government regulates asbestos and Kentucky asbestos law reflects these opinions on dangerous material. Asbestos that must be removed from structures includes both friable and non-friable applications and depends on the type of work to be done. Demolition for example will mean the removal of all regulated asbestos containing material, especially if there is a chance it will crumble and release fibers.
Friable asbestos refers to any application of asbestos that is sprayed or exposed to the environment. This will contain at least 1% asbestos, by weight. Friable asbestos presents a danger as it will degrade over time and slowly release fibers. Any friable material can be broken with human contact and minimal effort. Materials that are not friable may become friable if the durable material containing it is breached through damage or renovation.
Non-friable asbestos is included in the Kentucky asbestos law classification for asbestos-containing building material (ACBM). This material, once drilled, sandpapered, broken or crumbled will release toxic asbestos dust. This, when combined with the residue from the indurate material create a bonafide health hazard. Therefore, although non-friable material may remain after renovation, demolition requires full asbestos abatement.
Which agency is responsible for Kentucky asbestos laws?
The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection has a Division for Air Quality that will license professionals and workers to inspect and abate asbestos. The agency also maintains a listing of those that are accredited to perform asbestos abatement in the state. All buildings are subject to Kentucky asbestos laws, except single family homes and apartments with less than four units. These do not have to abide by notification and renovation requirements, but must dispose of the asbestos in accordance with the law.
Can I file an asbestos lawsuit in Kentucky?
There are no laws that specifically limit asbestos related lawsuits. You should pay attention to tort reform statutes that may limit the time you have to file a case or the amount of damages you can collect. Several successful lawsuits have been filed in Kentucky to claim damages and compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other costs. You must have an asbestos related illness and be able to prove that the entity that exposed you did not take adequate precautions to protect you from exposure.