Being an electrician is a “high voltage” job, so to speak. Anyone who has worked in the field – or plans to work in the field – knows that they have to have a “respect” for electricity. The utmost care must be taken when electricity is part of the picture, and details must be checked once, twice, and even three times to avoid any chance of electrocution.
Those who work with high voltages that power heavy machinery are especially aware that one wrong move can result in instant death for them and perhaps fires and injuries to others as well. It’s a danger that goes with the job and while electricians will tell you that they don’t “fear” electricity, they do have to have that aforementioned respect to do their job well and without major risk.
However, electricians face other risks while on-the-job aside from those related to high voltage. For decades, electricians were regularly exposed to dangerous asbestos while working in the nation’s factories, manufacturing plants, refineries, power plants, steel mills, and other industries. Today, many of them are paying the price of that exposure.
Consider the fact that high voltage applications and asbestos-containing products seem to go hand-in-hand. Asbestos, for more than a century, was used as a fire deterrent because it was amazingly heat-resistant, so it was not unusual for it to be wrapped around wires or found in electrical breaker boxes. It was also used in insulation paper and film, used to help avoid electrical shocks caused by exposed wires.
In addition, electricians may have been likely to disturb other asbestos materials while on the job, perhaps sawing, cutting, or drilling through drywall, plaster, or tiles that may have contained the toxic mineral, which was seemingly everywhere in industrial and commercial buildings constructed in the early to middle part of the 20th century.
Today’s licensed electricians might suffer exposure while working on the renovation or repair of old structures, where asbestos materials are still present. So, the danger still exists and electricians can never be too careful while working in residential, commercial, or industrial structures where one might still find materials that contain asbestos. Any dust created by disturbing asbestos, especially old friable or damaged asbestos, could result in the inhalation of tiny asbestos fibers, which can lodge in the lung area and later cause tumors to form.
Over the years, countless electricians have filed suit against defendants that include not only employers who knowingly exposed them to asbestos while on the job but also against the many companies who manufactured the asbestos-containing materials they encountered on a daily basis. Sadly, many of these employers and/or manufacturers knew that asbestos was dangerous to the health of those who worked with it regularly, yet they continued allowing its use. The result of that negligence has been a sizeable group of electricians dealing with the anxiety of a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that destroys the life of its victims and his/her loved ones. In many cases, the disease could have been avoided had employers discontinued the use of asbestos materials or provided protective gear for those who might have been exposed.
If you or a loved one worked as an electrician and are now suffering from mesothelioma, it’s time to take legal action against those who were responsible for the exposure. Take time to learn about your rights today!