Oil refinery mesothelioma risk for workers – No doubt you’ve passed them as you’ve driven down the highway. You know, those sprawling industrial complexes lined with numerous tanks, smoke stacks, and miles of pipeline; plants that take crude oil and process them into useful products like gasoline, kerosene, or heating oil.
You’ve probably turned up your nose at the smell or maybe even commented about how these oil refineries were affecting the environment.
Indeed, oil refineries aren’t the prettiest part of any town’s skyline but they necessary to keep America running, and the individuals who work inside or outside of the U.S.’s dozens upon dozens of refineries are hardworking employees who face numerous dangers on a daily basis.
From the time of the first U.S. refinery, built in 1862, until today, refinery workers have been injured, maimed, or killed on the job for a variety of reasons, ranging from carelessness on their part to unavoidable accidents to outright neglect on the part of their employers.
Through much of the 20th century, when the growing use of the automobile prompted the building of more refineries, asbestos could be easily spotted in these facilities.
Indeed, because asbestos was so fire resistant, it seemed like the perfect material for a number of uses at refineries around the country and it no doubt prevented many tragedies. However, it caused others. It made people sick.
For decades, a sizable number of products used in oil refineries contained asbestos. These included:
• A variety of electrical products
• Insulation/pipe covering or block
• Asbestos paper
• Refractory products for kilns, furnaces, reactors, etc.
It’s likely that those who worked in oil refineries during the years of asbestos use would remember encountering those products on a regular basis. Those same refinery workers might even remember that the products were stamped with the names of the companies that manufactured the items, including:
• Johns Manville
• Atlas Turner
• U.S. Gypsum
• National Gypsum
• and many others
Even a perfunctory review of the mesothelioma cases that have been filed over the last few decades show that refinery workers – especially those who worked in the industry prior to about 1980 – have been prime candidates for developing the disease due to exposure to the above-mentioned types of products.
For most of those victims, the disease came as a surprise. That’s because their employers never warned them of the risk of working closely with asbestos, especially asbestos that was damaged or had to be cut, sawed, or ground to fit a particular application.
So it was rare that oil refinery workers wore masks while working with the toxin, making it likely that they inhaled the dangerous dust that resulted from their work.
So, who’s to blame? Only an experienced mesothelioma attorney can provide a definitive answer, but it’s likely that workplace exposure was not your fault.
If you’re suffering from an asbestos-related disease, discuss the particulars with a lawyer to determine whether or not you (and/or your family) is eligible for compensation due to workplace neglect.