Todd Shipyards San Francisco
The Todd Shipyards of San Francisco are not in fact the first Todd yards in the bay area. In fact, the Todd Shipbuilding Co. had been operating out of Oakland for many years before the San Francisco operation took root in Alameda. The Alameda operation originally was formed as the Union Iron Works by the United Engineering Company. At the onset of WWII, the shipyard was reorganized as the Bethlehem Alameda Shipyard, under the supervision of Bethlehem Steel Corporation. During the war, the yard repaired and serviced more than a hundred vessels and was instrumental in the production of the new P-2 troop transport ships.
Todd's first involvement with the San Francisco year was the purchase of a smaller yard in the Golden Gate vicinity in 1948. As a ten-year lease, this shipyard came to Todd under a temporary basis for the construction of larger tankers and passenger vessels. The construction done at the small shipyard proved to be immensely important to the Todd Pacific industry and plans were soon underway for an expansion of the site at Alameda. Among the more versatile shipyards of the era, Todd's expansive resources allowed for the construction of technologically advanced equipment in the new site. The San Francisco division featured an advanced dam and lock-gate system that was unprecedented on the West Coast.
Shipyards, while generally staffed by competent and safety-trained employees, can still be dangerous places to work. Danger could lurk in nearly every corner of shipyards if the workers are not trained to handle all situations which may arise. Unfortunately, some hazards that exist within shipyards are completely unknown to the men and women who work among them. A good example of such hazards is asbestos. Toxins permeate all aspects of shipyards and asbestos is a primary material.
Asbestos was used frequently in ship and other vessel repair and construction prior to its federal ban in the late 1970's. In areas that required insulation, asbestos materials proved to be especially adept. Electrical, Plumbing, and hull constructions all have used asbestos in shipyards, and those who worked in these areas are particularly at risk. Those who repaired older vessels, where asbestos was used more liberally, are potentially even more at risk. For those who fall into this risk pool, it is important that approach potential asbestos illness rationally. Closely monitor your health and consult a physician if you feel your respiratory health has been compromised as a result of asbestos exposure.
Last modified: December 28, 2010.