Potential for Fracking Operations in Florida Presents Concerns of Silica Inhalation

Legislation was recently introduced by a state representative that would require industries to report the chemicals injected into the ground while fracking in Florida. Currently there is no fracking operation in Florida, although there has been recent speculation that fracking would begin in South Florida near other oil and gas operations. Fracking is a technique used to stimulate oil and gas production by forcing water through the ground at high pressures. The process has been scrutinized for its potential to damage the environment and expose workers to silica inhalation.

Silica and asbestos exposure can cause serious damage to the exposed person. Asbestos was a form of insulation commonly used in construction because of its sound absorption and ability resist fire, heat, and electrical damage. Silica is a material found in several types of rocks that are frequently used in construction. Both are tiny particles that can remain in the lungs once inhaled, accumulating and causing scarring and inflammation. This affects the exposed person’s ability to breathe and often results in serious illness like mesothelioma.

Employers of construction businesses are obligated to maintain their workers’ health and safety, including exposure to silica or asbestos. If they fail to use ordinary and reasonable care on the work site, and either fail to warn employees of potential harm or neglect to maintain a work site that minimizes exposure, the employer or owner may be liable for injuries the employees suffer. Manufacturers of products that contain silica or asbestos may also be liable for injuries suffered due to product defects. The product itself may be considered unsafe, and inadequate warnings or instructions for safe use may be absent. Safety products themselves that are designed to protect you from silica or asbestos exposure may also fail, creating a breach in the manufacturer’s obligation to provide a safe product.

Florida legislation determines who can file an asbestos or silica related claim. A plaintiff must show that physical impairment was a result of a medical condition to which exposure to asbestos was a substantial factor. Extensive medical documentation is required by a qualified medical professional. Medical examiners assess the impairment rating of the individual’s lung capacity. There must also be proof of the injured’s substantial occupational exposure to asbestos.

The South Florida Asbestos Mesothelioma Attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank understand that suffering from asbestos or silica related injuries is intense and debilitating. Sorting through statutory requirements and holding negligent parties accountable can be a daunting task, and it helps to have experienced counsel at your side. If you or a family member was exposed to silica or asbestos in the workplace or from a defective product, call our office for a free, confidential consultation at (877) 448-8585.


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