1. Probably the most obvious are those workers who manufactured asbestos products. Thankfully this no longer takes place in the UK and has not done for decades however companies such as CAPE, Turner Bros and others have left a damning legacy of asbestos related deaths and illnesses in their wake.
2. Shipbuilding – Workers building, renovating and repairing ships have been heavily exposed to asbestos. This seems more obvious when we look at maps of where asbestos related deaths occur in the UK and the cluster of deaths around, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, and Davenport.
3. Heating Engineers, Pipefitters and Laggers – Asbestos was widely used as insulated lagging on pipework in most industrial settings. In many cases these workers would be mixing raw asbestos powder with water to form a paste. The powder would easily distribute in the air making inhalation much more likely. These workers have paid a heavy toll in terms of asbestos related deaths.
4. Railway and Coach Builders – Asbestos was widely used in the construction of trains. It was used to insulated pipe work and then make coaches flame retardant. In some cases asbestos was sprayed onto the framework of coaches and workers were given no masks or breathing apparatus.
5. Construction workers – Carpenters, electricians and plumbers throughout the 1950 to the late 1970’s would have been working with asbestos products from guttering, asbestolux sheeting, corrugated asbestos roofing and insulation boards. Most houses built in this period would have asbestos in them somewhere unbeknown to home owners and workers alike.