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Asbestos Exposures at the Albany Steam Station

For over sixty years, the Albany Steam Station has occupied the western bank of the Hudson River. Originally constructed and operated by the Niagara Mohawk Power Company, the Albany Steam Station is now owned by PSEG Power. Niagara employees, with the assistance of skilled independent contractors and unionized workers of Stone & Webster and Combustion Engineering, constructed the plant in the early 1950s. Notably, from the time operations began, through to the plant’s sale to PSEG Power, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 97 kept the station running.

Over the course of three decades, the Albany Steam Station saw major renovations. At its inception, the plant was coal-fired. In the 1970s, heavy construction converted the plant to oil operations. Then, in the 1980s, crews began the task of converting the plant to run on natural gas. Over time, heavy equipment capable of producing up to 400 megawatts was installed, expanded and upgraded. At its peak, four large boilers and four turbines operated around-the-clock to produce energy for surrounding areas.

The Albany Steam Station’s boilers were housed in the plant’s boiler room, where workers had access to little or no ventilation. Considered some of the most critical pieces of equipment at the worksite, the boilers received constant attention. To trap the heat of the boiler, and afford a level of protection from burns, workers wrapped the four boilers with external insulation. Frequently, during overhauls and emergency repairs, workers had to cut through this insulation to get inside the boilers. Climbing in, workers were exposed to more asbestos, from gaskets, packing, and other fibrous materials composed of asbestos.

The other critical pieces of equipment at the Albany Steam Station were the plant’s turbines. Constantly spinning, employees at this worksite had to pay close attention to the turbines. Generally, turbines were fitted with an asbestos jacket, to trap heat and protect workers from serious injuries. Numerous pieces of the turbine itself contained various asbestos components. Electrical products, as well as asbestos gaskets were installed in the turbine. During overhauls and emergency repairs, employees and independent contractors removed and replaced this material.

Housing all of the supporting equipment at the Albany Steam Plant was the worksite’s powerhouse. There, workers were required to constantly keep track of various pieces of equipment, including pumps, valves and air compressors. The companies that manufactured these products did so in a way that proper performance could only be achieved with the use of various asbestos-components. Therefore, products like asbestos gaskets, packing and mechanical seals were used to keep the equipment running. Workers that performed this repair work at Albany Steam Station’s powerhouse were exposed to vast amounts of asbestos while completing maintenance on the equipment.

The attorneys at LK are skilled in identifying asbestos exposures suffered by individuals who worked at power plants like the Albany Steam Station. For decades, our firm has represented various skilled tradespeople and their families, including electricians, boilertenders, millwrights, carpenters, pipefitters and sheet metal workers who were exposed to asbestos at power generating worksites. Despite the scientific knowledge available to manufacturers of asbestos products used at the Albany Steam Station, most workers were never warned of the hazards posed by the inhalation of airborne dust. At LK, our attorneys work tirelessly to hold these companies responsible for your pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has developed an asbestos-related disease, call today for a free consultation.

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