The Pearl Harbor Shipyard, which was founded in 1842, is located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The Pearl Harbor Shipyard has supported the U.S. Navy through major wars, including the years following the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. Today, the Pearl Harbor Shipyard operates as a modern ship repair facility, serving hundreds of U.S. Navy vessels.   

History of Pearl Harbor Shipyard

Originally, the Pearl Harbor Shipyard was a coalition site, but in 1919, the site shifted its focus to shipyard activities. During the 1930s, Pearl Harbor and the nearby channel were widened, allowing larger ships to access Pearl Harbor. To accommodate the new variety of marine vessels that could now access Pearl Harbor, the Pearl Harbor Shipyard expanded and updated its services.

During both World Wars, the Pearl Harbor Shipyard provided invaluable services to the U.S. Navy. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II, the Pearl Harbor shipyard helped rebuild the U.S. Naval fleet and played a key role in the eventual Allied victory. Nearly 100 U.S. Navy ships were destroyed or damaged in the Pearl Harbor attack. The Pearl Harbor Shipyard served as an emergency repair base at this time to help the U.S. Navy recover from the devastating blow.

The Pearl Harbor Shipyard continued to repair Navy vessels during conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and throughout the Cold War. The Pearl Harbor Shipyard, which is located between the U.S. West Coast and Asia, was an ideal choice for vessel work during these wars. Over the years, the shipyard has expanded to 300-acres in size and it currently employs over 4,000 people. To this day, the Pearl Harbor Shipyard still actively maintains and repairs Navy vessels. Most recently, the shipyard served the Navy during Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield and Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

Asbestos & the Pearl Harbor Shipyard

Those who worked at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard may be at risk of developing a number of life threatening diseases. Before strict asbestos regulations were ordered in the 1980s, the Pearl Harbor Shipyard used asbestos extensively in its operations. Because the dangers of asbestos were unknown until the 1980s, Pearl Harbor Shipyard workers wore no protection and were exposed to high levels of asbestos for prolonged periods of time.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral and was used at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard for its ability to retard fire, withstand high temperatures, and resist corrosion. At the Pearl Harbor Shipyard, the following ship components and products were likely to have contained asbestos:

  • steam pipe insulation
  • boilers
  • incinerators
  • turbines
  • pumps
  • electrical and plumbing insulation
  • gaskets
  • valves
  • welding blankets
  • building insulation

Due to prolonged exposure to asbestos, many Pearl Harbor Shipyard employees have developed severe and fatal health problems, such as:

  • Mesothelioma (a cancer of the protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs, including the lungs)
  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • Cancer in a number of other body organs

Asbestos Injuries at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard – Hawaii

If you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard, contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal rights.

Published November 17, 2011 by