Grinding Machine Operators and Asbestos Exposure
There are many risks involved in becoming a grinding machine operator, as there are when working with almost any type of machinery.
But perhaps one of the least understood dangers grinding machine operators faced was asbestos.
Asbestos was used throughout the manufacturing industry from the mid-1900s until around 1980. It was seen as a durable and inexpensive material that prevented the spread of fires and served as an excellent insulator.
Asbestos does not pose a threat when it remains whole, but it does become friable very quickly and, when inhaled, is carcinogenic.
Asbestos was commonly used within the walls of buildings or wrapped around boiler units, and if these were disturbed (through construction or repair) then the fibers could become airborne. It was also used during production, on brakes, and parts to help protect against heat.
Mesothelioma Justice Network Brief
Workers were exposed to asbestos in many ways. In industries such as construction and manufacturing, asbestos was a crucial component in the building of the factory itself. Asbestos was generally used in the tiling, bricks, drywall, and flooring. Many factories across the country still contain asbestos products today.