Given the nature of the machinist’s trade, it is not surprising that asbestos exposure ranks as one of the more dangerous liabilities of the profession. Machinists, who work for hours on end using large machining centers, power lathes, and milling machines to fabricate, trim or finish metal parts for other companies, require protection from extreme heat situations, electrical discharges, and cuts and abrasions that can occur during the machining process. All of these potentially dangerous scenarios have been rectified in the past through the use of asbestos.
Asbestos has been used in the manufacturing industry as a heat-shielding agent. It surrounded machining centers to protect stray workers in the vicinity. It was used in the construction of rooms and labs where machinists worked–in ceiling, wall and floor tiles as a heat-dampening and fire-prevention agent. And, it was used in protective gear, such as aprons and gloves, worn by machinists to protect them from electrical shocks, cuts and abrasions.
When protective gear was damaged in the machining process, or when floor, wall and ceiling tiles were removed or replaced, the asbestos dust hung in the air for all workers in the vicinity to breathe in or to take home on their clothing for other friends or family members to inhale.
When manufacturing became the backbone of America during the Industrial Revolution, hundreds of thousands of machinist jobs became available. Today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are more than 475,000 machinists in the United States.
Given the lengthy amount of time it can take for asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer to manifest, it is not surprising that many individuals are being diagnosed with diseases related to asbestos exposure they encountered long ago.
If you believe you or a loved one may be at risk for developing mesothelioma, contact Simmons Hanly Conroy today for a free legal consultation.
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