Now the world’s leading manufacturer of container handling equipment for ports around the world, Pacific Coast Engineering (PACECO) started out as a boat builder during World War II. The company was involved in the creation of numerous different vessels including, tug boats, ferries, tank barges, utility boats, landing crafts, and industrial vessels. In 1959 Pacific Coast Engineering developed the world’s first ever high speed container crane, which cut a ships turnaround time exponentially from 3 weeks to as little as 18 hours. This design became the standard model for any future container cranes worldwide. Active shipbuilding was ceased in 1976, as Pacific Coast Engineering decided to focus their attention on container handling equipment. At the end of the 1980s there were at least 737 ship-to-shore container handling cranes operating in over 200 ports around the world. Nowadays more than 45% of container cranes in the world are Pacific Coast Engineering built.
The presence of asbestos within working environments such as Pacific Coast Engineering would have been rife. Due to the asbestos’ incredible resistance to heat and corrosion, it was an ideal material for use in shipbuilding. Throughout World War II in particularly, the amount of asbestos that would have went through shipyards into new ships and out our refurbished or decommissioned ships would have been enormous, resulting in all workers on and around the site breathing in its tiny airborne fibers. Even once shipbuilding ceased at Pacific Coast Engineering asbestos risk would still have remained high. The fibrous particles do not break down, resulting in their constant movement throughout any site where they were once prevalent.
When Pacific Coast Engineering become solely container crane handling manufacturers, the crane operators if working within a shipyard environment would have also been exposed to asbestos. Not only did these risks emanate from the ships themselves, but depending on the design and manufacture of the crane and hoists mechanism, asbestos may have been used within the creation of the crane brake pads and gaskets.
Navy health officials have stated that workers could have built ships in ways which would have minimized their risk and exposure to asbestos, but instead the military establishment chose to ignore the use of this life threatening substance in order to maintain high production levels and low costs. Companies knew the dangerous risks that asbestos posed well before its use was made illegal, yet they continued to expose innocent and unknowing men and women for their own benefit. Products containing asbestos often leak tiny particles into the air, and when these particles are breathed in they can accumulate in the lungs causing scarring and inflammation which can lead to serious health problems. One of the most serious illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos is the cancer mesothelioma.
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we may be able to help you get the justice you deserve. We are here to pursue justice against asbestos companies that knew their products were fatal, yet did nothing to warn the hard working men and women that used, or came in to contact with them. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re offering free consultations – schedule one today.