There are many risks associated with working in a chemical production facility, including asbestos exposure. Oil refineries are no exception, and resent a multitude of health risks. In 1994, an explosion at the Belpre, Ohio Shell Chemical plant killed three employees. Throughout the nation, Shell Oil refineries exposure workers to toxic materials.
Accidents have awakened many in the community about the hazards of working in and around chemical plants and oil refineries. However, the most common killers include inhaling toxic fumes and asbestos fibers that cause serious illnesses and cancers like mesothelioma.
Shell Oil refinery employees may have been exposed to asbestos and been unaware at the time. For many years, asbestos was considered the best insulator available for industrial plants because it is highly resistant to heat and fire. As a result, thousands of oil refinery workers were regularly exposed to dangerous asbestos materials.
Attorneys representing victims of cancer and other diseases argue that Shell knew as early as 1945 that asbestos causes cancer but did nothing to warn workers of the danger.
Refineries across the country took no precautions to protect workers from the dangers of airborne asbestos or inform the workers of these hazards. This negligence resulted in hundreds of refinery workers developing asbestos-related diseases.
Nearly any worker in a Shell Oil refinery could be at risk of developing serious health issues, including pulmonary fibrosis, asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated asbestos lawyer and personal injury attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.
Oil refineries like Shell often manage large amounts of piping that connect manufacturing and industrial buildings, and storage tanks. The insulation for pipes, as well other equipment such as ovens, tanks, boilers and pumps, are likely to contain asbestos.
At some factories, asbestos lined work areas and dining tables, and was even found in the clothing chemical workers donned to protect themselves from burns and fire.
Asbestos is especially toxic when it is disturbed through cutting, grinding, or naturally deteriorates over time. Maintenance Crews are at high risk; however almost anyone working on the grounds is likely to inhale the fibers, which can get lodged in tissue surrounding the lungs and cause potentially lethal damage. Shell Oil plants with an alleged high risk of toxic exposure include:
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
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Mesothelioma and asbestosis can lay dormant for decades with symptoms cropping up many years after exposure. When they do present, symptoms may include the following:
In 2000, a Georgia jury awarded over $34 million to a man who claimed he developed cancer after working with asbestos at a Shell Oil refinery. The verdict included $25 million in punitive damages.
The victim worked at a company that did roofing work at a refinery in Illinois in the late 1950s and 1960s. He said he developed lung cancer after working in “mists of asbestos” while removing insulation. He was one of thousands of workers and contractors who would visit Shell Oil plants during shutdowns to repair or install new refining units.
The judge in the case agreed with the plaintiff lawyers that Shell had hidden important evidence regarding its knowledge of asbestos hazards that should have been turned over to the plaintiff’s lawyers before trial. Plaintiff investigators learned that Shell had 106 boxes of documents in the basement of its Houston headquarters that it had not revealed.
Among the evidence was a 1937 document from the American Petroleum Institute warning about the hazards of insulation dust. Other evidence showed that Shell knew in 1945 that asbestos could cause cancer.
America’s chemical companies and some of the largest employers and most profitable corporations have a responsibility to provide employees with safe working environments. When they knowingly mislead and fail workers, they should compensate victims and families for the damage they have caused.
Workers in Shell refineries who have developed lung conditions and have been diagnosed with lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis or pulmonary fibrosis may have claims against their former or current employer. Do not hesitate to seek medical and legal assistance.
Many experience asbestos exposure through the workplace. Workplaces may have been filled with toxic materials, and employers may have failed to warn of the serious health risks of the job. Filing a suit helps to raise the awareness of job safety.
Asbestos was regularly found in oil refinery buildings and work sites. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there were dozens of different jobs that could have exposed workers to toxins. Thousands of oil refinery workers are still exposed to asbestos each year.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to asbestos exposure.