The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that tradespeople in the North West are more at risk of being exposed to the deadly substance, Asbestos, than anywhere else in the UK.

On average, the HSE reports that those working in older buildings could be coming into contact with asbestos fibres more than 130 times per year: significantly increasing their risk of contracting an Asbestos related illness in later life. Naturally, those in the construction trade are at a considerably greater risk of being exposed to Asbestos. It is a common myth that Asbestos is only found in older buildings; this is not the case as buildings built as recently as 2000 may contain asbestos.

As part of a £1.1 million initiative, the HSE is working to raise awareness through its “Beware Asbestos” Campaign. The first key step is assessment – assessing the types and the levels of asbestos that tradespeople are working amongst. Thereafter, they can establish if the risk is too high and if a professional needs to be brought in or if steps can be taken to lower the risks of inhaling this deadly fibre. Shockingly, the HSE found that only 30% of tradespeople knew of the correct measures to implement at work. There is even a web app that has been designed to make the campaign even more accessible. Experts have said that simple measures could literally saves lives: using the right kit is essential, as is ensuring that the workplace is cleaned up thoroughly so the area is left dust free.

There are four main diseases associated with the inhalation of asbestos fibres; Mesothelioma (an aggressive form of cancer mainly affecting the lining of the lungs), Asbestos related lung cancer, Asbestosis (a non-malignant scarring of the lung tissue) and non – malignant pleural disease (diffuse pleural thickening and pleural plaques).

Symptoms of asbestos related diseases can take years, even decades, to develop. However, experts say that sufferers can live for an average of just nine months following diagnosis of this deadly disease. Naturally, victims are relying on securing compensation to cover the costs of care and treatment resulting from this deadly illness. Sadly, there are approximately 4,000 deaths per year from asbestos related illnesses and this figure is only set to rise. It is hoped that this campaign will raise awareness and reduce this figure in years to come.

It is vital to remember that all employers are required, by law, to take out Employers Liability Insurance so your claim, in almost every event, will be dealt with by the Insurers. Therefore, if successful it will be them that compensate you, not your Employer directly.

Mesothelioma is disease which not only affects the victim, but it also hugely impacts upon the lives of the family around them. Here at Farleys, our specialists are dedicated to trying to achieve the best possible outcome as quickly as possible, and avoiding the need for litigation where at all possible. Contact a member of our team for a free claim assessment today on 0845 050 1958 or email us.