Founded in 1921, just when asbestos began gaining popularity in the shipbuilding industry, Equitable Shipyards was located in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1966, the company acquired the former Higgins Industries yard and began constructing boats there under the name Equitable Shipyards. In the meantime, the Madisonville yard continued to work on barges. Regrettably, like the majority during the last century, this shipyard exposed workers to asbestos, which was essential in shipbuilding. One of the activities that generated a lot of toxic dust employees would inhale and ingest was cutting and sanding construction products to perfectly fit in the vessels. Employees did not have protective gear because the major asbestos companies were striving to promote asbestos as a safe material.