Boilermakers are at a high risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was used heavily in several industries in the 20th century. Asbestos is resistant to heat, corrosion, and electricity, and for those reasons, it was seen as an ideal mineral to use in boiler production and operation. Asbestos is an effective insulator for boilers, and manufacturing and insulating boiler equipment with asbestos can reduce the risks related to high temperatures. Indeed, many of the uses of asbestos that put many boiler workers at risk were banned, but the reality is that boiler workers are still at a huge risk of asbestos exposure.
How Boiler Workers Were and Can Still be Exposed to Asbestos
According to the Department of Labor, boiler workers include workers who produce and install the machines, known as boilermakers, and workers who oversee the daily use of boilers in boiler rooms or engine rooms, known as boiler operators. Asbestos poses a threat to both boilermakers and boiler operators.