Telephone repairmen have many responsibilities. These include installing telephone lines, repairing existing lines, and identifying underlying problems so they can be attended to. During the process of installing telephone lines, drilling through sections of a home or building may be required, disturbing installations of drywall and insulation.
Because asbestos acts as an excellent insulator, it was frequently used decades ago to line the floors, walls, and ceilings of homes and businesses. Drilling through sections of these buildings would cause particles from the asbestos to become airborne and inhaled. Telephone lines themselves were often insulated with asbestos because it served as a protection against lightning damage and fires. When making repairs, telephone repairmen must often cut through these wires, an action which once again exposes them to dangerous asbestos fibers.
Asbestos and Telephone Repair
As opposed to workers in other fields, telephone repairmen are not always exposed to asbestos. They experience a level of risk that may vary greatly depending on how much work they have and whether they are performing tasks in newer buildings or older ones. Initially, it was thought that sporadic exposure would be less of a danger. However, studies have proven that telephone repairmen are definitely exposed to enough asbestos to cause related cancers. Therefore, even occasional asbestos exposure has been proven dangerous.
A person does not have to be a firefighter or policeman to have job related risks. There are a certain degree of risks involved in almost any job. Still, considering how far we’ve advanced in knowledge of these dangers, we rightfully expect job risks to be kept to a minimum. We also expect any job related risks to be explained to employees and for them to receive the proper protective gear. Unfortunately, as recently as just 15 years ago these expectations were often not met in relation to asbestos hazards. It is interesting to note that asbestos was originally used because of its ability to save lives. As long as it stayed in solid form, it posed no health threats. However, as homes and businesses got older, it became much more likely for asbestos fibers to come loose and be inhaled by unsuspecting people.