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Asbestos Awareness Week

This week is global asbestos awareness week, aiming to increase the awareness of asbestos and prevent exposure.

Asbestos is the biggest cause of occupational cancer, with 5,000 people a year dying from past exposure to asbestos in the UK alone. It is vital that lessons are learned and health and safety in the workplace is respected to prevent further exposure to this preventable disease.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural material, which, before the dangers were known became increasingly widespread towards the end of the 19th century, when its diverse applications included fire-retardant coatings, concrete, bricks, pipes and fireplace cement, heat-, fire-, and acid-resistant gaskets, pipe insulation, ceiling insulation, fireproof drywall, flooring, roofing, lawn furniture, and drywall joint compound. In 2011 it was reported that over 50% of UK houses still contained asbestos, despite a ban on asbestos products some years earlier. Asbestos is therefore found in many buildings built in the 20th Century,

If left undisturbed, asbestos doesn’t present a health risk. However, if disturbed a fine dust containing asbestos fibres is released which can enter the lungs and cause damage over time.

Those who work in the building and construction industry are most at risk of asbestos exposure and must receive specific asbestos awareness training.

Historically those employed in many industries, often within factories have been affected. In addition, local schools near to a factory or family members who may have received secondary exposure when for example washing a loved ones overalls. Only this year, a truck factory electrician has won the right to pursue a claim against his former employer when his wife contracted and died of an asbestos related illness. She only came into contact with the asbestos which was in her husband’s hair and on his clothes from his work.

Symptoms

It can take years for the signs of an asbestos related disease to show, with symptoms including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent Cough
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Wheezing
  • Pain in your chest or shoulder
  • Swollen fingertips

If you experience any of these symptoms, you must visit your GP immediately.

Can I make a claim for compensation?

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease, such as asbestosis or mesothelioma you may be able to make a claim.

You have three years from the diagnosis of your disease to make a claim, and it is vital that you speak to a solicitor as soon as possible as these cases can be extremely complex due to the length of time it takes for symptoms to develop.

Morgan Jones Pett Solicitors have a national reputation for our expertise in Personal Injury claims. We are accredited by the APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) and listed in The Legal 500 as personal injury specialists.

If you think you or a loved one have a case, contact us on 01603 877000.

 

#asbestos #2019GAAW

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Morgan Jones & Pett Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales Registered No: 06236869. Registered office at: 18-20 Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1LB. Authorised and Regulated by: The Solicitors Regulation Authority registration: 569813. www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/code/content.page