Oil Refinery Demolition Exposes Asbestos

by Sokolove Law

Asbestos remains a danger in multiple industries — including that of petroleum refinement. A recent event brought this point home, when, during an oil rig demolition, workers suddenly faced unexpected asbestos exposure.

The incident occurred when an excavator turned up “a large amount of asbestos” at the Port Stanvac oil refinery, as Australia’s 7News reported. The site is owned by mammoth energy company ExxonMobil. About 12 workers were in the immediate vicinity when the material was unearthed.

Tests on the workers’ clothing came up positive for traces of asbestos, the story suggests. There are fears that they weren’t properly decontaminated after their exposure; some workers noted there’s no formal procedure to cope with the asbestos. The construction workers’ union also worries the demolition contractor isn’t sharing all pertinent information about the asbestos. 

However, ExxonMobil claims that “every step” is being taken to ensure the workers’ safety.

The Port Stanvac refinery began operations in 1963, a time when asbestos was heavily used in the construction of oil refineries worldwide. The site was mothballed in 2003, and demolition on the site began last year, according to ExxonMobil’s Web site.

Oil refinery workers have historically been at high risk of developing asbestos-related conditions. Even in its crude form, oil is highly flammable, as well as toxic. This is why asbestos, with its excellent insulation properties, durability, and resistance to flame, acted as insulation. But over time, this material can become brittle and flake off, producing asbestos dust, as this informative site discusses.

If you have been exposed to asbestos and developed an asbestos-related condition, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Call the experienced asbestos attorneys at Sokolove Law for a free case evaluation today.

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