Asbestos in Metal Works
The metal works industry was among the greatest users of asbestos to help protect employees against the intense fire and heat that is necessary in this industry. Utilizing this material in a number of capacities, this material was responsible for keeping countless metal workers safe during their everyday job duties. Asbestos-lined furnaces, generators, pipes and boilers all contributed to the vital insulation workers needed. Furthermore, many garments also contained this material, including masks, aprons, shirts, pants, gloves and shoe covers.
Despite this material’s value in keeping employees of metal works safe from the immediate dangers of heat and fire inescapable in these facilities, the presence of asbestos also put employees at a long-term risk of developing mesothelioma and other related diseases. As these asbestos-containing products were damaged through everyday use and wear, small particles broke free, suspending in the air where they could be inhaled or ingested by workers.
However, many workers remained unaware of these risks as company executives and managers frequently ignored or downplayed these dangers. Furthermore, some metal works employers defended the use of asbestos-containing safety materials, pointing to its value as an insulator. Nevertheless, the fact remains that despite the effectiveness of asbestos as an insulator against intense temperatures and fire, a safer material that posed no long term risks should have been found as a replacement. Below is a list of metal works companies responsible for exposing workers to asbestos.