The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is one of the largest shipyards on the West Coast. Located in Bremerton, Washington, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard currently serves as a repair, overhaul, and dry-dock shipyard for a wide variety of U.S. Navy vessels. The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is known for its six impressive dry-docks, with dry-dock number five measuring 1,030 feet long, 147 feet wide, and 54 feet deep. Today, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard continues to operate as a modern shipyard at the forefront of the newest technology in the naval industry.

History of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was founded in 1891 as a ship repair facility. The advent of World War I transformed the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard  into a ship construction yard. The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard greatly contributed to the war effort, building 25 submarine chasers, 6 submarines, 7 tugs, 2 minesweepers, and 1,700 smaller vessels.     

The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard entered the wartime era as the only yard on the Pacific Coast with facilities to handle large naval vessels. During World War II, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard began to focus on military ship repair for both the U.S. Navy and the Allied Forces. Ship construction was limited to smaller vessels, with most of the shipyard’s efforts reserved for the repair and upgrade of ships. After the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, five of the six battleships remaining were sent to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for repair.       

After the World War era, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard began to focus on modernizing carriers and building guided missile frigates. In 1965, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was established as a nuclear capable repair facility. Ship construction continued until 1979 when the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard began to focus on repair and overhaul.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Since 1990, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard has become one of the prime centers for the recycling and overhaul of large vessels, even those containing nuclear wastes. The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is often engaged with recycling parts of older ships and using them as materials for the repair of other ships. As of 1994, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard employed 10,588 civilian workers and 300 military personnel.

Asbestos & the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

Before strict asbestos regulations were ordered in the 1980s, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard used asbestos containing products extensively in its daily operations. A large number of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard employees are at a great risk of health complications due to exposure to asbestos. Authorities have estimated that nearly 100,000 shipyard workers, including some from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, have died from asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos was used in ship construction and repair for its ability to retard fire, withstand high temperatures, and resist corrosion. When asbestos material is handled it can release a dangerous fibrous dust into the air. In the tight, poorly ventilated ship areas, the dust was likely inhaled by shipyard workers. When inhaled, asbestos dust can lodge in the lungs or the protective lining of many of the body’s organs and cause severe and fatal health problems, such as:

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

If you have worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, you may have been exposed to asbestos. Symptoms of asbestos exposure can take decades to surface. It is important to inform your physician of asbestos exposure as an early diagnosis can help better manage some of these serious diseases. Many Puget Sound Naval Shipyard workers concerned for their health have sought medical and legal advice about their asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Injuries at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard – Washington

If you or a loved one has been injured by asbestos from working at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, please contact us today to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for your asbestos injuries.

Published November 17, 2011 by