Work asbestos was commonly used in the construction, shipbuilding and motor industries until the 1970s due to its tensile strength and resistance to fire and heat. Mixed into cement or woven into mats, work asbestos is now recognised as the largest single contributor to industrial sickness and still responsible for thousands of deaths each year.
Since 1989, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act has laid down strict guidelines about the procedures involved for working with asbestos or working in an area where asbestos may be present but, as work asbestos related diseases may take decades to manifest, it is still unclear how many people are still suffering from a pre-1989 inflicted industrial illness.
Since the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act has been in place – and complimented by consequent EU legislation – work asbestos compensation claims are more likely to be generated by incidents where an employer has failed to include the risk of asbestos-containing materials in a construction or renovation “Plan of Work”.
This may even be for a task perceived as innocuous as installing computers or replacing lighting in an older building where asbestos may have been used in the original construction. However well policed the removal and disposal of work asbestos is these days, there may still be an element of “lack of consideration” that will lead to a work asbestos related sickness and a subsequent work asbestos compensation claim.
Diagnosing Work Asbestos Related Illnesses
Many forms of asbestos-containing materials – such as Artex – pose no risk when left undisturbed, and it is only during the removal or alteration stage that fibres can get into the environment and be inhaled or digested through food and drink that has been exposed to asbestos. The inhalation or digestion of work asbestos fibres can lead to diseases of the lungs and digestive tract such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer and are particularly difficult to diagnose – requiring a tissue biopsy from the affected area to confirm the disease.
If you start getting symptoms which are similar to asthma, but get them at the end of the day rather than at the beginning (most asthmatics are worse in the morning), it is advisable that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Work asbestos related illnesses are not necessarily fatal but, because of the long time they may take to become apparent, will be fairly well established by the time you feel ill enough to visit a doctor.
Making a Work Asbestos Compensation Claim
Once your doctor’s diagnosis has been confirmed, you should speak with a solicitor in respect of making a work asbestos compensation claim. Work asbestos illnesses vary greatly depending on the level of exposure and even the Injuries Board Ireland (through who all work asbestos claims must initially be made) states “It is impossible to be too specific about the compensation levels for these types of injuries due to the high number of variables involved and the number and severity of possible outcomes”.
To help victims of work asbestos related diseases acquire helpful and accurate information about making a compensation claim, we have set up a free advice telephone service. This service enables victims and their families to speak with an experienced solicitor, familiar with industrial illnesses related to work asbestos, and have their questions answered about a potential claim.
In many instances, our advice has helped people get appropriate compensation settlements for their illnesses and our initial advice service is completely free of charge and without obligation. Call us now on 1-800 989 995 or if you cannot speak now please fill in the form on the left and we will call you back.
- 100% Free, uncomplicated advice from an experienced solicitor
- 100% Comprehensive assessment of your right to claim
- 100% Accurate and up-to-the-minute information
- 100% No obligation or pressure put on you to proceed
What You Can Expect
We appreciate that being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness is an extremely traumatic event in your life and, particularly after what may be many years of working in a work asbestos environment.
Therefore, you can expect our solicitors to be both understanding and compassionate to your enquiry. We listen closely as you tell us about your specific circumstance and what your diagnosis has been.
We will answer any questions you may have about your right to claim work asbestos compensation and assess if there is a case for settlement which is worth your while to pursue. We should also be able to tell you how long your case should take to process and the likelihood of your success.
At this early stage, we would be in the same position as the Injuries Board Ireland (above) inasmuch as we would not guess at the level of compensation you could expect to receive. However we will include in our case amounts to represent any ongoing medical costs and potential future loss of earnings.
You are under no obligation to proceed with a claim after you have spoken with us but, because of the unpredictable nature of asbestosis and the speed at which the disease can take over the vital organs, we recommend that you call us as soon as possible.
Our lines are open on 1-800 989 995 from 8.00am to 10.00pm and if it is not convenient to call now, please make a note of our telephone number for the first possible opportunity you have to call or leave your details in our call-back form below, and one of our team will get back in touch.
Please refer to Helios Avocats for more specialist information about industrial litigation.