Draftsmen and Asbestos Exposure
Draftsmen, or drafters as they’re now commonly called, are responsible for developing building plans. They convert ideas from architects or designers into usable blueprints. At first thought, draftsmen don’t seem to be at great risk of asbestos exposure.
While this job doesn’t sound dangerous, draftsmen often work on construction sites and mining sites where they are exposed to many workplace hazards. In the past, draftsmen regularly worked in environments contaminated with high volumes of asbestos.
Draftsmen were exposed to large amounts of asbestos for prolonged periods over their careers.
Draftsmen didn’t handle asbestos-containing materials directly. However, they were frequently at risk of asbestos exposure when visiting job sites.
Draftsmen often worked on high-risk worksites for long periods, surrounded by airborne asbestos fibers. These highly skilled professionals may have inhaled asbestos many times over the course of a project.
How Draftsmen Were Exposed to Asbestos
Although draftsmen didn’t work directly with products containing asbestos, most were exposed to airborne asbestos particles every time they visited a worksite.
It was typical for draftsmen to visit worksites when planning or making changes to building projects. The unknown reality for drafters was that these sites were a hotbed for asbestos exposure.
Three particular industries put draftsmen at high risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses.
Every construction site in America used some form of asbestos between the 1920s and 1980s. These asbestos-containing materials included insulation, roofing, flooring, drywall, and sealants.
Every American construction company employed draftsmen who spent hours on worksites where asbestos particles filled the air.
Every mine employed draftsmen who calculated details for constructing and supporting underground works.
Underground mines were notorious for asbestos dust. Most mine shafts and tunnels were narrow with terrible ventilation, and anyone working in this environment could not avoid inhaling or ingesting deadly asbestos fibers. It wasn’t just asbestos mines that were hazardous—asbestos was used in all sorts of mining materials and equipment.
Draftsmen worked throughout the shipbuilding industry, drawing detailed plans for ship hulls, systems, and finishes. Shipbuilding was especially productive during World War II when asbestos was used as a primary material for insulation and heat control.
Draftsmen worked inside ships and alongside tradespeople, facing an equal risk of asbestos exposure as those directly handling asbestos products.
Thousands came into contact with asbestos on a regular basis. Get a free legal case review to find out if you may have been exposed.