Electricians Had Significant Exposure To Asbestos
Electricians were routinely exposed to asbestos at work whether they were employed by large and small companies or work within different industries or job sites. Electricians work in construction, on Navy vessels, in shipyards, in office buildings, at mines and steels mills, at utilities and power plants, and at schools, universities and hospitals. Electricians are usually members of labor unions such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). In all these work environments, electricians were routinely exposed to asbestos.
Electricians Are At High Risk for Asbestos Disease
Due to the nature of their work, electricians are at high risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. Electricians worked with many asbestos-containing products and supplies, such as electrical panels, molded plastic, phenolic resins, arc chutes, and wires. These products were common and electricians were routinely exposed to the asbestos that was incorporated into each of these types of products.
Even common tasks exposed electricians to asbestos. For example, electricians who ran wires in houses, buildings, ships and compartmentalized spaces were exposed when they cut, drilled, or sawed into walls, ceilings, floors and panels to install or re-wire. Wiring itself often contained asbestos prior to the late 1970s and 1980s.
Electricians Also Expose As Bystanders
Electricians were also exposed to asbestos even when they did not directly work with asbestos-containing products. Electricians at shipyards and constructions sites experienced “bystander exposure” to products such as asbestos gaskets and packing, joint compound, asbestos mud or cement, drywall and wallboard, ceiling and floor tiles, thermal insulation or lagging, and asbestos cloth and blankets. Asbestos also was found in equipment such as generators, pumps, valves, motors, turbines, transformers and switch boxes which electricians routinely maintained and repaired.
Electricians Still At Risk
Although OSHA and other workplace regulations protect workers such as electricians from asbestos exposure, many electricians worked at a time when these regulations were not in place. Today, electricians may still be exposed to asbestos when working with older products or job sites, including homes and buildings. Electricians should take special precautions to protect themselves from asbestos exposure, especially when working on renovation and remodeling projects.
The Galiher Firm’s First Asbestos Client was an Electrician
Over 35 years ago, Attorney Gary Galiher filed an asbestos lawsuit on behalf of Tristen Nobriga, an electrician who worked at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. This was the first asbestos lawsuit in Hawaii, and one of the first in the United States. Mr. Nobriga’s exposure to asbestos while working as an electrician led to the development of malignant mesothelioma. The lawsuit was successfully resolved for the benefit of the Nobriga family.
Galiher DeRobertis Waxman is proud to have represented Mr. Nobriga and hundreds of other electricians who were negligently exposed to asbestos at work and to ensure that they and their families receive compensation for their injuries.