No one should have to put their lives at risk when they go to work. Sadly, for many people, this kind of daily risk is a humbling reality. When we think of high-risk occupations, it’s easy to think of roles in the army, the emergency services and even loggers or fishermen. And while these occupations are fraught with danger, many other workers face hidden hazards and risks on a daily basis. 

Exposure to chemicals such as asbestos can seriously damage your health and lead to other illnesses such as asbestosis and mesothelioma – for more information about these devastating diseases, click the link for the timeline from asbestos exposure to developing cancer

Because asbestos was a popular product not so long ago, it means that from household to industrial products, it’s literally everywhere. The shocking reality is that many workers may not even be aware that they’re working in an environment where asbestos is present. 

When asbestos is disturbed or damaged, the fibrous particles which contain the cancer-causing chemicals are released. And when these fibers are inhaled, it poses a huge health risk. So, with this in mind, we’ve gathered some of the most common occupations that expose workers to asbestos.

Construction worker

If you spend your working days bulldozing old buildings and working to renovate old buildings to help a modern homeowner realize their dream, then you could be facing an asbestos nightmare. If they were constructed before 1980, most houses will contain some kind of asbestos insulation or asbestos-based products such as pipe lagging and partition walls. Asbestos can be found anywhere, from the floor to the roofing felt. So, when demolition work begins and the fibers are damaged or destroyed in the process, workers are at risk. 

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Factory workers

It’s difficult to imagine that working in a factory could put you at risk of mesothelioma, however, factory workers may find themselves handling products that contain asbestos, or may have to work with machinery that has components that contain asbestos. There could even be asbestos in the building that they’re working in. So, whether you’re working on the production line, tending to the machinery, or a manager overseeing employees on the factory floor, you could be placing yourself at risk of developing this life-threatening disease. 

Shipyard employees

When your part of the team that works hard to build or dismantle ships, then you could be at major risk of asbestos exposure. Previously, asbestos was used as a way of insulating electrics, boilers and pipes, material winches and as cladding on fireproof bulkheads. A huge number of successful lawsuits involving navy veterans and shipyard workers have been conducted in the past. 

And finally, firefighters

As mentioned above, those in the emergency services face life-threatening situations, daily. However, firefighters are also at risk of asbestos exposure. This is due to fire destruction causing damage to buildings where asbestos is present. When this material is damaged, the cancerous fibers can become airborne and then inhaled, putting firefighters at risk. 

If you believe you’ve been exposed to asbestos and your health has been impacted, reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible.