History of the Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard

The Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard was established in 1942 to produce ships for the United States Navy. The Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard was built by Henry Kaiser on a farmland in Vancouver, Washington. The Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard contributed enormously to the naval arsenal during WWII, producing a ship nearly every week of the war. Cargo ships, troop transports, and tank landing crafts were all successfully built at the Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard. The success of the Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard allowed Henry Kaiser to open additional shipyards in Oregon and California. At its peak in ship production, the Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard employed over 100,000 workers.   

The Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard closed after World War II, but the Kaiser Company branched out into other industries. The company built a network of hospitals around the country, and now, Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest health maintenance companies in the United States.

Asbestos & the Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard

Unfortunately, many people who worked at the Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard in Washington may have been exposed to asbestos throughout the duration of their employment. U.S. shipyards, including Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard, frequently used asbestos in ship yard operations. Prior to the 1980s, the health dangers of asbestos exposure were largely unknown and Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos for long periods of time. As a result, many former Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard workers have developed severe and potentially fatal health problems.

Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard workers were likely exposed to asbestos during the production of ships for the U.S. Navy. Because of its ability to retard flame, withstand high temperatures, and resist corrosion, asbestos was an ideal material for ship construction and repair. To accommodate the war demand, Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard workers built vessels very quickly, disrupting ship areas and materials that contained asbestos. When asbestos is handled, a fibrous dust can be released into the air. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can cause cancerous growths and life threatening diseases, such as:

  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis
  • Mesothelioma (a cancer of the protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs, including the lungs)

Authorities have estimated that nearly 100,000 shipyard workers have died from asbestos related diseases. If you or a loved one worked at the Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard, it is important that you tell your doctor about your exposure to asbestos. Symptoms of asbestos diseases can take decades to appear, but an early diagnosis can help better manage some of these severe diseases. Many shipyard workers affected by asbestos exposure have turned to asbestos lawyers for help. In recent years, industrial ship companies have been successfully sued for their liability in asbestos injuries. 

Asbestos Injuries at the Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard – Washington

If you or a loved one worked at the Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard, please contact us today as you may be entitled to compensation for your asbestos-related injuries.

Published November 17, 2011 by