Local 7 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers is a labor union that represents boilermakers throughout Western and Central New York. Headquartered in Orchard Park, New York, Local 7 became one of the first boilermakers’ unions in the United States when it received its charter in 1881 from the International Brotherhood of Boiler Makers and Iron Ship Builders, which was the precursor to the modern boilermakers’ international union. The boilermakers’ union is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
Union boilermakers work in many different industrial facilities, such as power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants and manufacturing facilities. Boilermakers’ job responsibilities include boiler construction and maintenance, fabrication of storage vessels and construction of equipment used in chemical manufacturing processes. Local 7 boilermakers have worked at various jobsites throughout Western and Central New York, including Bethlehem Steel, DuPont, Rochester Gas & Electric and Niagara Mohawk power plants, Ashland Oil, Kodak and Carrier Corporation. The manufacturers of industrial boilers that union boilermakers worked on included Riley Stoker, Combustion Engineering, Babcock & Wilcox, and Erie City.
During boiler maintenance and repairs, Local 7 boilermakers routinely accessed the interior of boilers and related equipment. Boilers, steam pipes, valves and pumps were covered with asbestos-containing block insulation, pipe covering and insulating cement. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer or other asbestos-related diseases.
Steam boilers were covered with asbestos-containing block insulation and insulating cement; boilermakers removed this insulation in order to access the boiler interior during maintenance or repair of the boiler’s fire tubes. Pipes, pumps and valves connected to the boiler were covered with asbestos-containing insulation. During the course of their work, boilermakers often disturbed, damaged or removed this insulation. When asbestos-containing insulation was removed, asbestos dust and fibers became airborne, which workers inhaled. Most workers were completely unaware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust, and they performed their work without masks or protective gear.
Inhaling dust and particles from the application of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer. Even those who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease. If you or a loved one worked as a boilermaker for Local 7 and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us regarding your legal rights.
Local 7 boilermakers worked at the following facilities in New York State:
- Chemical Plants
- Coke Oven Facilities
- Industrial Manufacturing Facilities
- Oil Refineries
- Power Plants
- Steel Plants