Asbestos Exposure for Metalworkers
Metalworking, particularly that involving sheet metal, remains one of the most hazardous jobs in terms of asbestos exposure. While the risks have been reduced since the dangers of asbestos became more widely known, asbestos remains an ingredient in many products that metalworkers come into contact with. Of course, the natural risks of the job do not relieve employers of their duty to make workspaces as safe as they reasonably can.
Metalworking Risks: Past and Present
Many people who worked with sheet metal through the 1960’s, when the use of asbestos finally began to decline, are now showing signs of serious health conditions. This has been attributed to a few different elements of their job. Some of these elements remain problems today, especially for people assigned to jobs in older buildings.
First, many sheet metal workers had jobs installing aluminum ductwork in building. The task required them to spend large amount of time in small, enclosed spaces filled with asbestos insulation. The poor ventilation, combined with the disturbance of airborne asbestos fibers, put workers at a large risk.
Another problem is the fact that asbestos was commonly added to sheet metal itself. Its durable, strong, and fire resistant qualities made it a very attractive material to construction companies. Other asbestos-containing products that metalworkers often use include:
- Roofing tar and shingles
- Boiler coverings
Many sheet metal workers who have been diagnosed with asbestosis, mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related disorders have grounds for employer negligence lawsuits. If you or a loved one has become ill due to workplace exposure to this toxic substance, contact asbestos lawyers Williams Kherkher at 800-781-3955.