The health and safety risks in asbestos related disease at work

Asbestos is a killer and for many decades during the twentieth century the effects of its lethal fibres, in the form of a fine airborne dust, rampaged virtually unchecked through the ranks of workers in the mining, construction and manufacturing sectors devastating their respiratory systems and causing painful disability and premature death. Fortunately, in the UK at least, such exposure should no longer occur, though the latent effects of workplace exposure during the last century continue to manifest in the ever increasing diagnosis rate of asbestos related diseases. Indeed asbestos is now the biggest single cause of workplace-related death in the UK.

Asbestos – the change in the law

It’s no longer legal to extract or use asbestos and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and 2012 effectively regulates its demolition/removal, transportation and disposal. Those regulations and the seemingly never ending expanse of health and safety legislation puts employers under a legal duty to take all reasonably practicable measures to ensure the health and safety of their employees. With regard to asbestos, employers are legally obliged to provide training on asbestos awareness and working with material. Asbestos exposure is also reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.

Legally, we appear to have every aspect of controlling exposure to asbestos covered, but from a practical point of view, at the ‘coalface’, the need for vigilance and the provision of comprehensive training remain crucial to ensuring that the latest generation of workers doesn’t have to endure what some of their parents and grandparent did and are still doing. For asbestos has not gone away and the legacy of an era that enthusiastically embraced the highly desirable properties of asbestos containing materials (even after the adverse health effects of asbestos dust exposure were recognised), lurk in many buildings constructed prior the turn of the 21st century.

Asbestos – the risks

Theoretically there is no safe minimum exposure level and one asbestos fibre might be all that it takes to trigger the process that will lead to the onset of disease. In fact, medical research points to much higher levels of exposure over a prolonged period being required to bring about the onset of such crippling conditions as asbestosis, pleural thickening and mesothelioma – but the same research reveals that different people react to different levels of exposure in different ways. Thus, the burden of managing this hazard, on every business that might encounter legacy asbestos in carrying out their work, will remain high until the material has been eradicated from our environment.

Call our Asbestos Claim Solicitors

So, if you feel you may have been a victim of an asbestos related disease at work, call our solicitors today. Every personal injury claim is different, but our Asbestos Claim Solicitors can give you a better idea of what compensation you could receive if your compensation claim is successful, as well as answering any questions you may have about the claims process.

To start your personal injury compensation claim, all it takes is a few minutes of your time. Just email us on or call us now on FREEPHONE FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 – we can then discuss with you the details of your claim and explain what will happen next.

Get in touch today for a completely FREE and without obligation consultation about making your claim for personal injury compensation.