Asbestos Use at Hawai‘ian Electric Power Plant

Hawai‘ian Electric Workers Represented by Galiher Firm

Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman has represented many Hawai‘ian Electric Company employees, and employees of subcontractors who worked directly with asbestos at the power plants. These people had significant occupational exposure in their work. We have also represented an engineer who was an office worker at Hawai‘ian Electric, whose only exposure to asbestos was bystander exposure. If you have worked at any of the Hawai‘ian Electric power plants and have an asbestos-related disease, call us so we can help.

Hawai‘ian Electric Company

Hawai‘ian Electric Company, often referred to as HECO or Hawai‘ian Electric, began its operations in 1891 at the time of the last reigning Hawai‘ian monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. As more of the island of Oahu got electricity, Hawai‘ian Electric built power plants throughout the island. Presently, Hawai‘ian Electric operates three power plants on Oahu. The first is located in downtown Honolulu, the second in Waiau, and the third at Kahe Point.

These power plants generate electricity with steam-powered turbines. The steam is produced by huge industrial boilers. Each power plant has several units and each unit has a boiler which powers a steam turbine. Asbestos insulation can be found on the boilers and turbines and all of the accessory equipment such as pumps, valves, pressure regulators, super heaters and other miscellaneous equipment. Asbestos gaskets and asbestos packing were routinely used on the fittings, valves, and flanges that are ubiquitous throughout these plants.

Asbestos Use at Power Plants

During the initial construction, the power plant equipment was insulated with asbestos products by the local Heat and Frost Insulation Workers Union, as employees of the sub-contractors. Asbestos exposure at these power plants occurred not only when the asbestos insulation was installed during the original construction, but also when subsequent repairs were made. Hawai‘ian Electric kept an inventory of asbestos insulation in its supply stores, which was used for routine repair and maintenance.

The manufacturers of the asbestos insulation and the steam-powered equipment never warned Hawai‘ian Electric or its employees of the hazards of asbestos. Many of these employees later contracted asbestos-related diseases, and successfully brought claims against the manufacturers of the asbestos-containing products. Thus there is a legal remedy for those who were exposed to asbestos at any of the Hawai‘ian Electric power plants and are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis as a result.

Exposure to asbestos at the Hawai‘ian Electric Power Plants includes both employees of Hawai‘ian Electric and employees of outside contractors who helped build the power plants and did periodic repairs. If you have worked at any of the Hawai‘ian Electric power plants and have an asbestos-related disease, call us so we can help.