We are all too familiar with the deadly threat asbestos poses to public health, lurking in the regal structures of Buckingham Palace, offices, even schools. Responsible for over 5000 deaths a year, asbestos related illness claims more lives than those sadly killed in road traffic accidents. Due to the severity of asbestos related illnesses it is no wonder the HSE has since issued stringent guidelines regarding the safe control of the substance in an attempt to protect those most at risk of exposure.
Given the significant health threat asbestos poses and the regulations in place, hospitals would be perhaps the last place we would expect to find it. Yet shockingly, asbestos has been discovered at the nationally renowned Christie Hospital in Withington, Manchester.
The Union Unite claim that whilst maintenance staff were carrying out repairs on the building in the past they had been exposed to asbestos, which the hospital trust was aware of. Despite this knowledge the trust failed to take sufficient action to remove the substance, instead continuing to issue jobs to workers. This is a direct breach of the hospitals ‘duty to manage’, and their responsibility to safeguard those who work in asbestos contaminated buildings. Although the hospital is not required to remove the substance, Unite claims they failed to put any controls in place and thus endangered the maintenance workers.
Due to the nature of asbestos related illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, sufferers go many years before exhibiting any obvious symptoms. The Christie Hospital has since issued a statement, claiming that without medical evidence, those affected can not expect to receive compensation on an ex gratia basis. Sadly this means workers and their loved ones will have to play the waiting game before the harm caused by exposure manifests itself.
At Farleys our expert team of solicitors specialise in helping clients successfully pursue asbestos related disease claims. Our wealth of expertise in this highly complex area of law allows us to secure a substantial settlement for victims of asbestos exposure helping you to secure the support and care you need. For further information, or for a free of charge, no obligation assessment of your claim please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our dedicated team on 0845 050 1958. Alternatively complete an online claim assessment.