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Why former industrial workers are at risk for COVID-19 complications

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on March 20th, 2020

Since numerous former industrial workers are now suffering from asbestos-related diseases, they are at high risk of developing more severe symptoms and possible complications. Their underlying health issues and their poor immune system is what makes them so prone to infection with the new virus.

Industrial workers do a variety of jobs, from assembly to operating machinery to loading and unloading shipments. Most workers spend the majority of their time on production lines, doing manual, repetitive tasks for hours at a time. In modern times, the activities in industrial environments have improved with the introduction of new technology, but in the past, factories were cramped and lacked adequate ventilation. Poor ventilation allows for harmful physical effects on workers due to the accumulation of toxic contaminants such as asbestos.

Former industrial workers, such as people who had a job in:

  • Power plants
  • Oil refineries
  • Chemical plants
  • Shipbuilding
  • Construction
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing facilities

are amongst the demographic which has a high risk for COVID-19 since many could be suffering from lung disease as a result of occupational asbestos exposure.

What raises the risks of COVID-19 complications for former industrial workers?

By now, it is a well-known fact that people with underlying respiratory diseases are significantly more prone to complications if they get infected with the novel coronavirus, as they have a weak immune system.

As a known human carcinogen, asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that had been heavily used by numerous industries until 1980, when multiple health organizations worldwide began raising awareness of the terrible health consequences of exposure. Because it is a very friable raw material, asbestos fibers were easily released in the air by activities such as maintenance and repair in industrial settings.

Subsequently, they would be inhaled and ingested by workers without them being aware of it. Following inhalation or ingestion, asbestos fibers persist in the body and may attach themselves to vital organs. The respiratory system of the people with a history of asbestos exposure is usually affected, as they will come to suffer from chronic, irreversible, and progressive lung diseases which may increase the risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

Which former industrial workers are susceptible to coronavirus infection?

Since asbestos exposure is the culprit behind the respiratory diseases former industrial workers are now struggling with, people who had the following jobs during the last century may currently be at high risk of complications to COVID-19:

If you worked in one of the industries above, have a respiratory disease because of occupational asbestos exposure, and experience a new onset of symptoms, such as shortness of breath, fever, a lingering cough, or chest pain, we strongly advise you to alert your doctor right away to ensure that your health is monitored appropriately. If you've already been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, speaking with an attorney can provide you with a path forward.

Medical surveillance for former asbestos-exposed workers

Former industrial workers that have been exposed to asbestos often unknowingly, may bring a claim against a manufacturer who supplied products containing asbestos to a particular industry.

If you are suffering symptoms that could potentially be linked to asbestos, it is vital to know what worksites, occupations, and products may have exposed you to asbestos. Along with a medical history and exposure history, regular chest X-rays help doctors diagnose asbestos-related conditions. Screening former industrial workers to identify an asbestos-related disease as early as possible is important to:

  • Provide appropriate medical monitoring for individuals with asbestos-related illnesses
  • Provide referral for legal compensation for individuals diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease

We offer free of charge local asbestos screenings to those that have been diagnosed with a non-cancerous disease as a consequence of past exposures to asbestos in a number of occupations and industries. Our staff of toxicologists and medical experts will examine your chest X-rays to see radiological features caused by the accumulation of asbestos fibers in the lungs while considering your overall medical and employment history to determine compensation eligibility.

We can document your exposure and gather the information necessary to file a claim while you stay safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former industrial workers may be eligible for compensation from asbestos trust funds

Did you work in one of the industries which employed asbestos before 1980 and subsequently developed a respiratory disease? If the answer is yes, you are entitled to financial compensation, which a specialized attorney can help you recover.

The legal process is simple and requires minimal involvement from your part. After you provide your lawyer with your employment and medical records as evidence of your former job and diagnosis, they will gather additional proof with the help of their legal experts and file a claim with the asbestos trust funds of the companies which manufactured the dangerous products you were exposed to. Eventually, you will receive the financial compensation you deserve for your physical and emotional injury.

It is important to keep in mind that the amount of time you have to seek compensation is restricted, as asbestos cases have a statute of limitations of 3 years. Therefore, we highly recommend you reach out to our attorneys as soon as possible in order to secure the money you are eligible for.