Working in a shipyard surrounds you with various machinery, equipment and materials that can pose potential health risks. One of the most prominent concerns is exposure to asbestos, a mineral known for its fire-resistant and insulating properties. These qualities made it a popular choice in shipbuilding, but they also mean that asbestos can cause serious health problems if inhaled over a prolonged period.
According to the Mesothelioma Guide, working in a shipyard is one of the highest-risk jobs you can have when it comes to working with asbestos. Understanding these risks and learning how to protect yourself are essential if you work in a shipyard.
Identifying the sources of asbestos
Shipyards commonly use asbestos in ships for insulation, fireproofing and other areas needing heat resistance. Older ships and buildings in the shipyard may still contain materials that include asbestos, even though its use has declined in recent years.
Health risks associated with asbestos exposure
Inhaling asbestos fibers over time can lead to serious health problems. These fibers can cause lung diseases like asbestosis, resulting in scarring of lung tissue. They can also increase the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer affecting the lining of the lungs and other organs.
Protecting yourself from asbestos exposure
Wearing proper personal protective equipment, such as masks and other protective clothing, can help minimize exposure. Additionally, always adhere to all safety protocols set by your employer and regulatory agencies to reduce risks. Regular medical examinations aid in the early detection of health issues related to asbestos exposure. Moreover, knowing where asbestos might be present and how to handle it can significantly reduce your risks.
The asbestos-related risks you face when working in a shipyard can affect your long-term health. Actively taking steps to protect yourself can minimize these risks. Open communication with your supervisors and coworkers about any concerns or questions is vital. The more you learn about the dangers of asbestos and how to safeguard yourself, the more secure your work in the shipyard will become.