How Is Asbestos Impacting Workers All Across The UK?
As Industrial Disease Specialists we are always trying to raise awareness of the conditions you can contract from work and highlight the potential for legal action. No one condition is more important than the next however we are now starting to see a rise in asbestos related conditions and deaths meaning there could be greater importance for awareness about this specific material.
Asbestos can usually be found in buildings which were built or renovated in the 1950-80’s. This material was used because of its ability to resist heat, fire and electrical damage. The main uses and therefore potential locations for asbestos are as follow: Sprayed Asbestos or loose packaging of it was used for fire breaks in ceiling voids, moulded or preformed spray coatings and lagging were used for the thermal insulation of both piping and boilers, Insulating boards, again used as a method to protect from fire can sometimes be found on wall partitioning’s and ducts.
Other uses include the use of asbestos in cement products which would either be compressed into flat or corrugated sheets; these would be used for wall cladding, roofing, rain water piping and water tanks. It is clear from this that those who work as tradesmen and labourers should be aware of the dangers they face, especially if they are working in older buildings.
We have found a couple of examples of work related asbestos cases and detailed them below. For the full story please follow the links included:
A former Dundee City council Plummer, William Sherriff began the process of suing his ex-employers for alleged long term exposure to Asbestos which in turn caused the onset of a debilitating condition known as diffuse pleural thickening, much later in life (http://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/news/local/ex-dundee-city-council-plumber-sues-over-asbestos-1.284029) . This is the first in many articles which have recently been published.
Edward ‘Ted’ Jacobs is another example. Mr Jacobs worked for Swale Borough Council and developed a rare, insidious form of lung cancer known as mesothelioma. This was attributed to exposure to asbestos whilst working. After hearing about the risks, towards the end of his employment, Mr Jacobs even refused to work with guttering which contained asbestos because he was concerned about the implications it may have on his health. Unfortunately by the time he was informed of the risks, it was just too late as Mr Jacobs had worked with the asbestos for many years before and as a result died in November 2011.
These articles are appearing more and more frequently and with HSE reporting that on average 20 tradesmen (including plumbers, electricians and joiners) die from exposure to asbestos every week (http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/essentials/), it is essential that now more than ever, we raise more awareness about the dangers of this hidden killer, especially for those who work in the construction and plumbing industries.
With exposure to inhaled asbestos fibres potentially causing the onset of highly debilitating conditions which in some cases can also be fatal, it is vital that those working in older buildings are aware of the dangers and know the potential hiding places for this hazardous material.
This week (1st – 7th April) is Asbestos Awareness Week and we are doing all we can to highlight the dangers of this material. If you have been exposed or know someone who has, speak to Roberts Jackson Solicitors today to obtain free legal advice and see if you can make a claim against the organisation responsible. Our Freephone number is manned Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm. 0800 001 4496