In the past few decades, one of the most prevalent types of industrial claims to be made by employees and former employees are claims relating to asbestos. Asbestos claims can also be made by other people who have been affected by asbestos, even if they did not work with asbestos directly.
As more and more information is discovered about the dangers of asbestos, more and more people are beginning to realise the dangerous position that they have been placed in because of the prevalence of the substance. At one point in time, asbestos was used for hundreds of different things, so it is almost impossible to avoid it completely. However, employers and the owners of public spaces have a duty of care to protect their employees, customers and visitors from coming into contact with the substance.
Asbestos-related illness normally center around the lungs and the windpipe, because asbestos does a lot of damage once it has been breathed in. However, asbestos-related illnesses can take on many other forms. If you think that your illness may be related to asbestos, you are advised to talk to a doctor who will be able to confirm your suspicions.
Asbestos in buildings
Unless a building is a private residential building which is occupied by the owner, the owner is expected to take certain precautions to keep all of the inhabitants safe. In the case of asbestos, the building owner should either arrange to make the asbestos safe or have it safely removed. Sometimes it is safer to leave the asbestos in situ and treat it using approved techniques, because disturbing the asbestos unnecessarily can potentially cause harmful asbestos fibres to become airborne.
If asbestos is left in situ, it should be monitored regularly to help to ensure that if it does become more of a threat, then it is removed as soon as possible. If you work in a building where there is asbestos, but your employer has not taken adequate steps to protect the employees and staff from this threat, then they may be putting you and your colleagues at risk. If you subsequently develop an asbestos-related illness, and this illness can be traced back to your time working in a specific place, then you may be eligible to make an asbestos claim.
The people who are most statistically likely to be affected in these circumstances are cleaners or janitors, who are most likely to accidentally disturb asbestos and breathe in the harmful fibres.
Tradesmen may regularly come into contact with asbestos because of the amount of asbestos which can be found in many buildings. If you have been requested to work in an environment which may contain asbestos, but you have not been given adequate protection to allow you to do your job properly, then there is a chance that you may develop an asbestos-related illness.
If you have developed an asbestos related illness after working as a tradesman, then you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. What is more, it is not just tradesmen themselves who are at risk from the asbestos fibres which they might have been exposed to. Many family members have also been able to raise successful claims after they developed asbestos-related illnesses due to continued exposure to the fibres which were brought into their homes on the clothes of the tradesman relation.
Asbestos factories and plants
The dangers of asbestos have been known for decades, but many asbestos factories in the United Kingdom were allowed to continue operating long past the time when the dangers were discovered.
Despite the fact that in some cases factory owners were aware of the dangers of their products, they did little to prevent their products from contaminating the local environment. Because asbestos is very hard to dispose of permanently, many of these areas are still heavily contaminated, even though the factories have been closed for a long time already.
Some people who lived or currently live near the site of an asbestos factory might have therefore developed an asbestos-related illness. Many of the companies who ran these factories are still in existence, and there are people that have already made claims against them, and you may be able to do so to.