Over recent years there has been a huge growth in asbestos claims following the widespread exposure to asbestos during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Many people, who have been exposed to asbestos early in their working life, are only just recognising symptoms. According to the Health and Safety Executive, asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK, and estimates around 4,000 people a year die from asbestos-related disease. In Shropshire alone 1 person dies every 12 weeks from Mesothelioma, which is a form of asbestosis.
Over recent years, government legislation has been brought in to try and help sufferers of asbestos related diseases. Following an offence relating to the unlicensed removal of asbestos from a factory in Telford earlier this year, the Health and Safety Executive have warned that companies will be prosecuted if they do not fulfill their duties, and reminded people that any removal of asbestos should only be tackled by licensed workers.
Dawn Humphries, an accident at work solicitor, who specialises in industrial disease claims, from local law firm Lanyon Bowdler advises of the symptoms to look out for if you are worried you may be suffering from an asbestos related disease. These are a shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain.
Suffers often don’t experience symptoms until around 15 – 20 years after initial exposure. This means that the condition is often hard to diagnose, especially as many asbestosis symptoms can be put down to a number of other medical conditions and are often misdiagnosed as benign diseases.
The types of workers who are typically exposed to asbestos include dock workers, ship builders, central heating engineers, demolition and renovation workers, and workers involved in spinning and pipe lagging.
Many people are unaware that they can receive compensation under government schemes, and may potentially be eligible for civil claims. These are cases which are often complicated and a specialist solicitor is required to secure the maximum amount of damages for those involved.