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Occupations with Asbestos Exposure Risk

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on March 18, 2024

Experienced Legal Help for Victims of Asbestos-Related Illnesses

Occupational contamination is the most common source of asbestos exposure, and many workers who later develop mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer were not made aware that they were working directly with or using products that contained the deadly carcinogen. Materials that contain asbestos are still prevalent and pose a serious risk to those who work with them.

The Williams Law Firm, P.C. understands the devastating, far-reaching effects of occupational asbestos exposure on victims and their family members. If you or a loved one suffers from mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer, it is important that you retain a New York mesothelioma lawyer to fight for the financial compensation you need and to reduce some of the stress you feel so you can focus on treatment and spending time with family. We treat each case as our case, and we are ready to fight for you every step of the way.

For help dealing with the effects of asbestos exposure, call (855) 575-6376 today and schedule a free consultation.

Occupations With a High Risk of Asbestos Exposure

In addition to those who worked in the mining and refining of asbestos, the following occupations have a historically high risk of exposure to asbestos:

infographic depicting occupations with a high risk for asbestos exposure

AIRCRAFT WORKERS

Many aircraft built before 1980 were constructed using asbestos. Unfortunately, even planes built after this year could contain asbestos if they were repaired or maintained using parts or products from before 1980. The US Air Force used asbestos in several of their plane models, and many members of the military have been rewarded for their service for having to work with this material after occupational asbestos exposure. Read more

AUTO MECHANICS

Asbestos was banned in building trades nearly 40 years ago, but its use in automotive parts, while dwindling, is still common. This means that auto mechanics are at an increased risk of occupational asbestos exposure whether working on older or new model vehicles. Auto mechanics are unfortunately likely to suffer asbestos-related diseases. Read more

BOILERMAKERS

If you have worked as a boilermaker or boiler mechanic, you may be at an increased risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. Boilers generate heat and, for a majority of the 20th century, asbestos was used to refract the heat around these devices. Asbestos fibers and other sources of asbestos dust are likely to negatively impact the health of boilermakers. This includes an increased risk of asbestos-related illness consequently decreasing quality of life. Read more

BRICK, CEMENT, AND STONE MASONS

Bricklayers, like others in the skilled building trades, are at an increased risk of mesothelioma caused by the exposure to asbestos. Many bricklayers have worked directly with or around asbestos-containing materials while installing fireplaces or working with fire-retardant brick, meaning they are at a high risk of interacting with dangerous and toxic substances. Workers exposed to asbestos materials may run into additional occupational safety and health issues. Read more

CARPENTERS

Asbestos was a staple in the building trades for nearly half of the 20th century. This mineral was used as both a heat reducer and flame retardant in insulation, pipes, laminates, plaster, and a number of other building materials in the United States through the early 1980s. Read more

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS

“Construction worker” is a relatively vague descriptor that can be applied to nearly any skilled tradesman or novice laborer involved in the building trades. However, your level of skill and your particular trade play very little role in your potential for asbestos exposure, as many construction workers have been exposed to asbestos in various forms. Read more

DEMOLITION WORKERS

Demolition workers tearing down old buildings are at a high risk of occupational asbestos exposure. Though the EPA has imposed federal regulations on demolition to limit exposure, many employees are still exposed because their employers ignored the rules, or because current methods are simply not as safe as they should be. Read more

DENTISTS

Dentists and other dental professionals may be exposed to asbestos in their line of work due to dental materials that contain asbestos. Read more

DRYWALL INSTALLERS

Between the 1940s and 1980s, plaster and joint compounds were manufactured with asbestos. This deadly mineral can still be found in many buildings across New York that were constructed during that time. If you have ever worked as a drywall installer, you may have suffered occupational asbestos exposure, increasing your risks for serious illness. Read more

ELECTRICIANS

Electricians are commonly in contact with asbestos dust and fibers. This is because asbestos was widely used in a number of building materials for over 40 years in the United States. Read more

FIREFIGHTERS

If a building containing asbestos or asbestos fibers collapses or catches on fire, firefighters and first responders who are called to the scene are at risk of inhaling asbestos fibers that get released into the air from the disaster. Read more 

FOUNDRY WORKERS

For much of the 20th century, asbestos was considered a miracle substance due to its tensile strength, heat resistance, and sound absorbency. Its ability to insulate and its resistance to fire made it common in several parts of factory equipment and machinery until the 1980s, during which time the dangers of occupational asbestos exposure were not fully understood. Read more

HEATING, VENTILATION & AIR CONDITIONING WORKERS

Unfortunately, thousands of buildings throughout New York still contain asbestos, increasing HVAC workers’ asbestos-exposure risks. Known for its fire resistance and ability to absorb heat, asbestos was common in and around heating systems and ventilation until the 1980s. Read more

INSULATORS

Exposure to asbestos does not result in immediate illness. In fact, it can take several decades for asbestos exposure to result in diseases such as mesothelioma, which can make collecting proper compensation for your damages all the more difficult, especially for individuals who worked as insulators in previous decades. Read more

JEWELERS

Asbestos was relied upon by the jewelry industry for many decades. Since the making of jewelry uses high temperatures to melt and mold the metals (soldering), asbestos was a cost-effective option for fireproofing. Read more

LABORERS

Tragically, skilled and unskilled laborers alike are often exploited, overworked, and even exposed to dangerous and deadly toxic materials. One of these materials, asbestos, is common in so many industries that laborers of all stripes have most likely been exposed at one point or another. Read more

MAINTENANCE WORKERS

If you worked as a maintenance worker prior to the 1980s, it is impossible for you to have not worked around asbestos. Even today in buildings that have not undergone abatement, materials that contained asbestos pose risk for maintenance workers throughout New York City.

MILLWRIGHTS

If you have worked as a millwright in any industry, you are at risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. Due to its heat-resistant properties, asbestos has been used in many items millwrights come into daily contact with, such as pipe coverings, insulation, valves, packaging, gaskets, and boilers. Read more

NAVAL SEAMEN

For much of the 20th century, naval ships were built with materials containing asbestos. This flame retardant was hailed for its ability to protect seamen in case of fire on the open water, but little was known about the dangers of asbestos exposure until the late 1970s. Today, the Jones Act provides an opportunity for seamen to recoup damages for mesothelioma and other asbestos-exposure illness. Read more

OIL RIG & REFINERY WORKERS

The risk of asbestos exposure among those who work in the oil industry is incredibly high. Asbestos was used in the insulating of pipes, tanks, boilers, ovens, heat exchangers, pumps, and other machinery on rigs and in refineries. Read more

PAINTERS

As with any trade involving the renovating and remodeling of older buildings, painters are at an increased risk of asbestos exposure. Painters commonly need to prepare walls for painting by applying sanding joint compounds, plaster, and spackle, all of which contain asbestos. Read more

PIPEFITTERS

Tradesmen who have previously or are currently working as pipefitters may have been exposed to asbestos several times while performing normal job duties. Installing and repairing pipe systems in older New York buildings can disturb asbestos fibers in pipe insulation, valves and gaskets, and related materials. Read more

PLUMBERS

Whether they were performing repairs or maintenance in older buildings or were part of a crew that built or maintained plumbing systems prior to the banning of asbestos in the early ‘80s, plumbers in New York have long been at risk for asbestos exposure. Read more

POWER PLANT & UTILITY WORKERS

Until it was banned in the United States in 1989, asbestos was widely used in power plants and powerhouses due to its heat-reflecting and retarding abilities. A majority of the powerhouses in New York City were built prior to 1990 and may contain asbestos or asbestos fibers. Read more

RAILROAD AND RAIL YARD WORKERS

On trains and in rail yards, asbestos fibers were used as an insulator as well as for high-temperature gaskets, clutch linings, and brakes, as well as in floor and ceiling tile. Read more

ROOFERS

If you worked in the roofing industry at any point from the 1940s, it is highly likely that you handled material containing asbestos. Read more

SHEET METAL WORKERS

Sheet metal workers may have suffered asbestos exposure while fireproofing ductwork from the 1940s through part of the ‘70s. However, exposure was not stopped even after the spraying of asbestos was banned in 1973. Read more

SHIP & SHIPYARD WORKERS

Asbestos can commonly be found both aboard ships and in shipyards as insulation for boilers, pipes, and turbines, as well as in cement, plaster, and other building materials. Read more

STEAMFITTERS

Many people who worked with piping systems through the 1980s have been exposed to asbestos, but are only now being diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestosis-related illnesses. This is because asbestos can stay in the body for years and may not produce an illness until long after the initial exposure. Read more

TILE SETTERS

Tile setting is an art. A vast majority of tile setters are skilled tradesmen who have undergone apprenticeships or schooling to refine their craft, but training alone is not always sufficient to prepare a tile setter for potential health risks, like asbestos exposure. Read more

It’s important to note that this is only a partial list of occupations that have demonstrated a heightened risk of asbestos exposure and that workplace exposure is not the only means of asbestos contamination. It is also possible to develop mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer from household contact with asbestos fibers or second-hand asbestos exposure.

What Compensation Can You Receive From Occupational Asbestos Exposure?

If you can demonstrate that your occupational asbestos exposure has resulted in asbestos, you are likely to qualify for compensation for your losses. Constant and repeated exposure to asbestos can quickly result in asbestos-related diseases and costly medical bills, and you should not be forced to shoulder these bills without holding those liable accountable. 

Many damages are likely to qualify for compensation, including but not limited to the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Property damage or property loss
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages, including future lost income and benefits
  • Household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Funeral costs
  • In-home rehabilitation
  • Disability
  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Change in lifestyle
  • Loss of consortium or loss of companionship
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or personal enjoyment

For more information, do not hesitate to contact The Williams Law Firm, P.C. If you have been in contact with a material that contained asbestos due to occupational exposure, we can help ensure those responsible are held accountable. 

We can help identify other potentially qualifying losses, estimate the value of your claim, determine who is liable, and obtain the complete compensation you deserve for your asbestos exposure. The risk of asbestos exposure is a serious one, and you deserve to have your occupational safety prioritized and protected. 

How Can an Asbestos Exposure Lawyer Help You?

Occupational asbestos exposure can be extremely dangerous for many individuals, including construction workers, sheet metal workers, and many more. An asbestos exposure lawyer from The Williams Law Firm, P.C. can support you in numerous ways throughout challenging legal processes.

We would be proud to support you during your asbestos exposure claim in many ways, including but not limited to the following:

  • Conducting an independent investigation
  • Working with medical professionals
  • Connecting you with medical providers who can aid with the healing and recovery processes
  • Referring you to additional legal specialists
  • Negotiating with every party to recover a satisfactory settlement
  • Preparing your case for court
  • Collecting evidence to prove liability
  • Consulting with experts to determine the full scope of your damages
  • Assuring that all documents are filed correctly and in a timely manner
  • Reviewing your damages to determine the total value of your claim
  • Communicating with the other parties on your behalf
  • Working with your healthcare providers to obtain any missing records
  • Organizing and presenting the evidence in order to prove liability and damages
  • Accessing research methods and tools only available to legal professionals
  • Reducing stress related to your legal claim

Please contact our firm as soon as possible to improve your odds of legal success. Reaching out to us sooner can better enable us to collect evidence, analyze information, understand your needs and circumstances, and build robust arguments in your favor. You can contact The Williams Law Firm, P.C. at any time to schedule your free consultation.

Get Complete Compensation and Obtain Outstanding Representation: Find Out More at The Williams Law Firm, P.C.

If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos in your workplace and are experiencing health issues as a result, it is essential to take prompt legal action. With over 30 years of experience, The Williams Law Firm, P.C. understands the gravity of asbestos-related illnesses, and we are committed to fighting for the rights and compensation you deserve.

Don’t let your employer’s negligence or the devastating effects of asbestos exposure go unaddressed. You can reach us by phone at (855) 575-6376 or by completing our contact form. Led by the dedicated Joseph P. Williams, we have never lost a case and treat your claim as our cause. Let us fight for you and help you navigate through this challenging time with our dedicated and professional legal support.

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