Asbestos used to be a necessity when it came down to constructing buildings, boats, and other projects. But, information has come out that confirms that it is hazardous to breathe in asbestos. Why did it take so long for society to realize the detrimental impact behind asbestos?

Researchers have found that at least 2.5 million workers have been exposed to asbestos in shipyards. Unfortunately, it’s continuously used in a large number of materials for shipbuilding. Shipbuilders aren’t the only ones at risk when it comes to asbestos, but if your client is in the boat building industry, getting boat builders insurance and taking the right safety measures will be essential for their business.

Around 86 percent of ship workers developed asbestosis over the course of a few years, even though they weren’t aware that they had any contact with it, a study found. And those who develop that condition are at a high risk of developing mesothelioma cancer. The biggest risk comes with working on older ships. There are still ships being used from World War II, and those who work on them have an incredibly high risk of exposure over time.

Studies found that those in the shipbuilding industry face mortality rates 15 times higher than others who are exposed to it. But it’s possible to minimize contact with asbestos. If your client’s not sure how, here’s what they need to know for the future.

Preventing Asbestos Exposure in Shipyards

It’s possible to prevent exposure to asbestos and avoid ill employees and costly claims. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict standards in place in order to protect boat builders and those working around toxic chemicals. This is what employers should ensure:

  • Employees need to make sure they don’t spend more than the regulated amount of time around asbestos. This equates to 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air in an eight hour period.
  • Asbestos sites need to be clearly marked. Workers need to know when they are being exposed and when they are not. If there are workers working near these sites, they should be given proper equipment for protection, including respirators.
  • Laundering services should be available on site so contaminated work clothes can be washed immediately.
  • Decontamination areas should be readily available for workers before they leave their work site.

It’s also important for workers to consult their physicians regarding their long-term exposure to asbestos and the health risks. When your clients pay attention to the health risks early, it’s easier to catch when something bad happens: like cancer.

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine, we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.