Electricians & Asbestos Exposure
Occupational Exposure to Asbestos for Electricians
When it comes to occupational hazards and job-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths, electricians are among the most at-risk workers. In addition to the more obvious risks, such as electrocution and explosions, electricians also have a heightened risk of being exposed to asbestos on the job. This means that they are more likely to develop serious and often fatal asbestos-related health conditions, including mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer. In fact, a British study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology in 2018 found that former electricians are nearly 16 times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma than people who did not work as electricians.
How Electricians Are Exposed to Asbestos on the Job
Like construction workers, electricians and electrical engineers are often required to work with old, asbestos-containing materials. The process of repairing, replacing, or maintaining these materials may disturb the asbestos, causing it to release microscopic fibers into the air. These fibers form hazardous dust, which can be inhaled or accidentally ingested. It can also settle on the body or on clothing, where it can be transferred to different locations and put other people—including workers’ families—at risk.
There are many ways in which electricians may be exposed to asbestos on the job. Some examples include:
- Wiring or rewiring older power systems
- Working with or replacing insulated wires
- Removing felted asbestos insulation around wiring or in breaker boxes
- Drilling, cutting, or removing asbestos-containing materials
- Replacing old, degraded, molded asbestos or asbestos paper wraps
- Repairing or replacing old, asbestos-containing generators
- Working with flash guards or asbestos insulation paper in electrical boxes
- Wiring old, asbestos-containing HVAC systems or units
- Repairing or maintaining elevators in older buildings
United States Navy veterans who served as electricians have a particularly high risk of being diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses, as they were often required to work in close contact with power systems on older vessels that contained chrysotile asbestos wire insulation.
What Types of Electrical Products Contain Asbestos?
Historically, asbestos was used in a wide variety of electrical products and materials. Because of its natural heat resistance, asbestos was considered a “safe” way to reduce the risk of electrical fires. Unfortunately, this put electricians, electrical engineers, and others at risk of occupational asbestos exposure and a wide range of serious or even fatal asbestos-related health concerns.
Some of the many electrical products and materials made with asbestos include:
- Wire insulation
- Cable wraps
- Electrical paper/flash guards
- Electrical shielding
- Plastic electrical panels
- Heating units
- Electrical wire
- Water heaters
Some of the many manufacturers known to have created and distributed asbestos-containing products include General Electric (GE), Lincoln Electric, Westinghouse Electric, Union Carbide, Burnham Holdings, and others.
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Filing an Electrician Occupational Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit
If you are an electrician or former electrician who has been diagnosed with asbestos, mesothelioma, or another asbestos-related health condition, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your related damages.
Such damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income/wages
- Loss of earning ability
- Loss of enjoyment/quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Asbestos manufacturers have set aside trusts with the sole purpose of paying asbestos exposure claims. However, recovering compensation for your damages can be difficult without the help of an experienced attorney. We strongly recommend that you reach out to our team at SWMW Law for a complimentary consultation. During this initial meeting, we can discuss the specifics of your situation and let you know whether you have a potential case. We can also share how our lawyers can assist you in seeking the full, fair compensation you are owed.
Additionally, if your family member or loved one passed away due to mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, you could be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Reach out to our firm today to learn more.
You can contact us online using our secure form, or you can call us at (855) 744-1922. We offer free consultations and do not collect any legal fees unless we win your case.
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