Managing a family business demands a firm dedication and commitment. Yet, as legacies evolve across generations, unanticipated threats may surface. For instance, you may suddenly face asbestos-related challenges that are often concealed in older industries and aging infrastructures.
These challenges can cast a shadow over businesses that have prospered for decades without such concerns. In these moments, what can you do then to protect the very essence of your family’s enduring legacy?
Asbestos exposure in the workplace
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral known for its heat resistance and durability. It was widely used in construction and manufacturing for decades. However, it is also known for its health hazards. When you distribute asbestos-containing materials, you release tiny fibers that pose severe health risks when inhaled or ingested into the air.
Industries commonly affected by asbestos-related challenges include:
- Construction, especially during renovation and demolition
- Manufacturing processes and materials
- Mining and extraction
- Oil refineries
- Power plants
- Public utilities
Asbestos exposure can cause severe health problems like lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. These diseases can take many years to show up, which is why family businesses with long heritage must deal with exposure right away – even if the exposure has not caused any casualties yet.
Regulations and safety measures
As a business owner, your main priority is to shield your employees from exposure to these asbestos-related risks. These exposures may trigger asbestos-related lawsuits in the future that can affect your business. Follow safety rules is the first step that you can take. Here is what you can do:
- Find asbestos materials: Make sure to carefully look for materials that have asbestos in your workplace by conducting a thorough check.
- Craft an asbestos safety plan: Create a plan explaining how to handle and dispose of asbestos materials safely.
- Train your team: Ensure your employees can spot asbestos and know safety rules so they can handle the situation when it presents itself.
- Obey the rules: Get familiar with federal and state asbestos rules to stay on the right side of the law.
- Keep checking: Schedule regular asbestos inspections to watch for material wear and tear.
Recognizing the dangers of asbestos exposure and faithfully following safety practices can serve as a sturdy shield for your family business against potential legal woes. But more importantly, it is the best way to safeguard the well-being of your employees. Consulting legal experts is vital to secure the most favorable outcome for your business and personal assets if you are already in a legal bind.