Steamfitters and pipefitters have similar skills and tasks but steamfitters work on systems that carry steam or heat for the purpose of generating power or providing heat. They are often employed in power plants, factories and on ships for the purpose of installing, inspecting and repairing boilers, radiators, burners, pumps and valve systems. Because steamfitters work on systems that generate great amounts of heat, asbestos is found in many of the materials that they handle on the job due to its resistance to extreme temperatures and ability to insulate and trap heat.
Applications of Asbestos in Systems that Generate or Transfer Heat
Pipes designed to handle high temperatures are lined with asbestos in order to prevent the pipes from failing because of excessive amounts of heat. When a steamfitter dismantles sections of pipe in order to perform a repair, he or she comes into contact with asbestos lining, blankets and insulation blocks. These materials almost always contain large quantities of asbestos and put steamfitters at high risk of developing mesothelioma due to the inhalation of asbestos over a long period of time.
Some of the asbestos components are required in order to prevent fires or to contain them when they have broken out. Asbestos cement paneling is commonly used along with a spray on insulation that contains large amounts of asbestos. The application of asbestos based products in so many areas of a heat generating system make it impossible for a steamfitter to avoid exposure to the material and puts anyone in the profession at risk of long term consequences such as the development of cancer in the lining of the lungs.
Steamfitters Employed on Marine Vessels
The application of asbestos throughout the heating system of a ship is mainly for the purpose of preventing a fire from spreading throughout the entire ship. The resistance of asbestos to fire makes it instrumental in preventing a fire to begin with but it also allows fires to be contained in a single section of the ship where they can be addressed more easily. As a result, steamfitters who are employed on ships face a much higher rate of exposure to asbestos and may suffer from asbestosis or cancer later in life if they inhale asbestos over a prolonged period of time.
Lack of Safety Precautions
Even now that the risks of asbestos exposure are known, many employers fail to offer their workers adequate protections against asbestos inhalation or to educate staff about its long term effects. Those who have had long careers as steamfitters may have been working before the government began to take measures to reduce worker exposure. The harmful effects of asbestos have been known for decades before the government intervened, however, and if an employer failed to warn workers or implement proper safety measures, the employer is liable when workers are injured as a result.
Legal Help For Steamfitters Who Have Developed Mesothelioma
If you or someone you love suffers from mesothelioma after working around products that contain asbestos for many years, you may have the right to sue for damages. We have knowledge and experience handling cases that involve asbestos exposure and we will do everything in our power to ensure that you collect the maximum amount in damages that you are entitled to either through negotiating a settlement or taking your case to court. We are so confident that we are able to collect damages on your behalf that we will offer our services for free if we are unable to.
Don’t wait any longer to retain representation— call us today for a free consultation. All of our consultations are kept in strict confidence and we will never charge you a dime unless you are awarded compensation.