Boilermaker and Boiler Worker Asbestos Exposure
Boilermakers and boiler workers have experienced a high level of asbestos exposure and face a high risk of contracting deadly diseases such as mesothelioma. The Lanier Law Firm specializes in helping asbestos-exposed boilermakers hold those accountable who prioritized profits over safety.
Boilers are heaters that distribute heat by transferring hot water through pipes. Asbestos was heavily used as an insulator in boilers.
Many of these boilers are still in service today, and boiler workers who have manufactured, installed, or repaired these units have experienced significant asbestos exposure. If you have contracted mesothelioma, you were most likely exposed to asbestos on the job.
The Lanier Law Firm can help you hold those accountable who allowed this to occur without your knowledge or consent.
How is asbestos used in boilers?
The primary use of asbestos in boilers was as hardcast insulation that covers the entire outside surface of the boiler. It was also used as insulation on the piping, according to Inspectapedia. Its purposes were to prevent fires and protect workers and users from burns if they accidentally touched the unit.
According to Fibresafe, many of the strings and gaskets in the internal components of boilers are composed entirely of asbestos. The Robin Hood Beeston Boiler, manufactured by the Beeston Boiler Company from the early 1900s to the late 1960s, contained this setup. These boilers are difficult to remove because they are often situated underground with four-inch cast iron piping.
Asbestos occurs in friable and non-friable forms. The non-friable form of asbestos is not as easily disturbed and is less likely to become airborne. Non-friable asbestos can become airborne is if it is penetrated with power tools.
The asbestos used on the pipe insulation of boilers is typically friable asbestos. Friable asbestos is often sprayed and can be easily disturbed by simply touching it or through vibration. Friable asbestos should immediately be removed by a professional abatement contractor.
Although the hard cover consists of a non-friable form of asbestos, if a boiler repair is needed, it may have to be drilled or removed to access the areas needing repair. This can disturb the asbestos and release a significant quantity into the air. On some models, it is possible to disturb the asbestos just by opening the door.
It is generally more cost-effective to replace the entire boiler than to have the cover professionally removed.
The manufacture of boilers and boiler components was big business during the peak of the Industrial Revolution. Some companies that manufactured asbestos-containing boilers include:
- L&L Boiler Maintenance, Inc./Orr & Sembower
- Dillon Boiler Services Company, Inc.
- Superior Boiler Works
- Holman Boilers
- Industrial Combustion
- Peerless Corporation
- Ray Burner Company
- Fulton Boiler Works, Inc.
How were boilermakers and boiler workers exposed to asbestos?
Boilermakers and boiler workers experienced significant asbestos exposure during daily work tasks, according to the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. These tasks included the manufacturing processes, installation and nearly any service and repair.
Asbestos was typically spray-applied, towel-applied, or factory installed within equipment, vessels, pipes, boilers, and furnaces.
It was added to multiple building materials during the manufacture of boilers to increase their strength. Asbestos can be disturbed during the following activities:
Cutting into asbestos-containing components
Attaching slings, chain-falls, or come-alongs to pipes, beams, or other components that are insulated or fireproofed with asbestos
Removing valves, piping, or vessels that are insulated with asbestos
Boiler manufacturing facilities were often confined environments that lacked ventilation, increasing the concentration of airborne asbestos. Boiler workers were also employed on Navy ships.
Is asbestos still used in boilers today?
Asbestos use in new boilers has been discontinued. However, many older boilers are still in service, and companies that use them are not always compliant with safety guidelines.
In 2016 OSHA fined Frasier Shipyards $1.4 million after citing it for exposing workers to asbestos and other hazards without following safety protocols.
Health Effects of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is an insidious enemy because workers can be exposed without their knowledge. Workers do not immediately experience symptoms that could alert them that they have been exposed to a hazardous product.
Many do not learn of their exposure until decades later when they are diagnosed with a deadly illness, often in stage 3 or stage 4. The most common illnesses associated with asbestos exposure include:
Who is liable for my asbestos exposure as a boilermaker or boiler worker?
The following parties are most often liable for boilermaker asbestos exposure:
How much is my mesothelioma case worth as a boilermaker or boiler worker?
Every case is unique, and there are no calculators that can accurately predict how much an individual case may be worth. Our law firm was able to obtain a settlement with a manufacturer of asbestos-containing pumps, boilers, and valves in the amount of $1,452,597 on behalf of a North Dakota boiler worker.
If you are eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit, damages in a boilermaker asbestos exposure case may include the following:
- Economic damages – Monetary losses including medical bills and lost wages
- Non-economic damages – Subjective losses such as pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of
- Punitive damages – Awarded in rare cases when you can prove intentional, fraudulent, or grossly negligent conduct
The amount you may be able to recover in your case will depend on the type of case you have, the circumstances of the liable parties, your age at diagnosis, your prognosis, and other individual factors. In many cases, multiple liable parties can be identified. Some liable parties cannot be sued.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Asbestos companies became overwhelmed with their liabilities as significant numbers of workers contracted asbestos-related illnesses. Many of these companies turned to bankruptcy protection as a means to manage liabilities. As part of their bankruptcy reorganization, they were required to set up asbestos trust funds.
If your asbestos exposure came from one of these companies, you cannot sue the company, but you can file a trust fund claim for each bankrupt company responsible for your asbestos exposure.
Workers’ Compensation for Asbestos
Exposure from Boilers
If your asbestos exposure occurred at work, you may be required to file a workers’ compensation claim instead of a lawsuit. Workers’ compensation protects the employer from civil liability while providing claimants with partial wage replacement and free medical care.
Workers’ compensation does not protect boiler manufacturers or distributors that sold asbestos-laden products to your employer.
If you were a boilermaker or worker exposed to asbestos during your military service, you cannot sue the military, but you may be eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA benefits include free medical care and monthly disability payments. You can also file a lawsuit against the product manufacturers who supplied the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard with products containing asbestos.
How can The Lanier Law Firm help me with
my boiler worker mesothelioma case?
The Lanier Law Firm can provide the following services:
When should I contact an attorney?
What makes The Lanier Law Firm the best choice?
The Lanier Law Firm is one of the most experienced mesothelioma law firms in the world, and we have built a reputation as one of the most feared law firms in our field. We have a national reputation and have earned designations from our peers that include:
We accept cases nationwide and can always travel to our clients from our law offices in Houston, New York City, and Los Angeles.
“Mesothelioma cases bring with them unique challenges that we at The Lanier Law Firm are ready to tackle and handle. We have 25 years of experience doing this type of work.” – Darron E. Berquist, Managing Attorney, New York Office Asbestos Practice
I want to thank you all once again for your incredible and relentless efforts for us. It’s hard to believe after nine years that you have continued to seal justice in our father’s case! I know dad and mom are joined together and smiling down on The Lanier Law Firm!
– Larry M.
If you or a family member have worked as a boilermaker or boiler worker and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Contact The Lanier Law Firm today for a free consultation.