Industrial Plant Workers The men and women who work as industrial plant workers have a big job within the industry. Industrial plant workers are the individuals tasked with massive goods production. The mass produced goods often require chemical and mechanical processing. Therefore, the job of an industrial plant worker is multi-faceted. A worker needs to fulfill many duties, including liquefaction and molding, using electrolysis for separating metals, smelting, cutting and folding, and joining on a large scale. Furthermore, each plant can require a different set of responsibilities from the industrial plant worker. No matter the actual job at each plant, there is equipment that must be assembled and maintained. The equipment often has pipes that are used to supply extremely hot liquids or gases to the machine. Carpentry and welding skills are frequently needed as well, as maintaining the heavy machinery used in an industrial plant is another common task.
Industrial Plant Workers and Asbestos Asbestos fibers pose a serious risk to humans. Asbestos fibers cause a fatal illness known as mesothelioma, a form of cancer. Asbestos was frequently mixed into a number of products produced in industrial plants. However, it was not until the 1970s that the government stepped in and prohibited the use of asbestos and developed safety standards for those exposed to the substance. Unfortunately, for several decades many industrial plant workers were unknowingly exposed to the toxic fibers in asbestos without wearing any kind of protective equipment. Asbestos-containing materials, or ACM, were used in pipes, gaskets, boilers, blast furnaces, ceilings, floors, and walls. Each time one of these products was disturbed during maintenance or other contact, millions of asbestos fibers could be released into the air. Routine actions such as sawing, grinding, shaping, sanding, and pulverizing caused asbestos fibers to be released and circulated throughout an entire plant. However, the severity of the problem was unknown or underreported, allowing the dangerous work to continue for decades. Furthermore, industrial plant workers often performed their job without any protective equipment, further exposing themselves to the lethal carcinogen known as asbestos.