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SKU: 6.64
  • Advice

    Asbestos can be present in buildings built or refurbished before 2000 and the health issues from inhalation of asbestos can often take a long time to present themselves. As such workers who worked with asbestos in the past may can still only just begun to show symptoms. Asbestos is only dangerous when it is made airborne and inhaled. 

    Asbestos can cause:

    • Mesothelioma; 
    • Asbestos-related lung cancer; 
    • Asbestosis; and
    • Pleural thickening. 


    What an employer should do:

    Every employer should ensure that anyone who handles asbestos knows the risks and is provided with the correct protective equipment and has sufficient training (Employer’s duty of care), failure to do this could mean the employer is in breach of their duty of care to their employees. Ideally employers should prevent their employees from being exposed to asbestos to the degree it is reasonably practicable. Asbestos can be transferred from person to person so that family members of a worker who has dealt with asbestos may be at risk. It is possible that where a worker’s family has suffered harm the worker’s employer may be liable.


    The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 

    These impose a duty on employers which is intended to protect employees from the risks of asbestos exposure. Negligent employers may be judged to have committed if they fail to meet any of those duties. You only have 6 months to bring a case from the date where the duty was breached. Regulation 2 of the regulations state that before starting work, the employer must give written notice to the appropriate office.


    Assessment of Premises

    Before work starts the employer must carry out a suitable risk assessment of the premises. If the employer is unsure whether there is asbestos, they should assume asbestos is present.


    Plan and assessment of work 

    An employer should have plans in place and conduct a risk assessment of each site prior to initiating work. 


    Provision and cleaning of protective clothing

    Employers must provide adequate protective clothing for those employees who could be in contact with asbestos and ensure that this clothing is disposed of or cleaned at regular intervals.


    Duty to make arrangements to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies.

    Where there is an accidental release of asbestos an employer should take steps to mitigate the effects of the release and return the situation to normal.


    Duty to prevent or reduce the spread of asbestos.

    Employers should prevent the spread of asbestos from any place where work is carried out under their control. 


    Duty to clean premises and plant 

    The premises and plant should be kept in a clean state and once work has been completed the premises should be thoroughly cleaned. 


    Designated areas

    Employers are required to designate any areas in which employees are potentially exposed to asbestos as "Asbestos areas". Any area where the control limit is exceeded should be designated as ‘Respirator zones”. 


    Duty to monitor air quality 

    Employers should measure asbestos fibres in the air at regular intervals, records must be kept of this monitoring. Employees must be allowed to access their monitoring records.


    Duty to main health records and carry out medical surveillance. 

    Where an employer is carrying out licensable work, they must maintain a health record for every employee exposed to asbestos. They are required to keep this record for 40 years. They must also ensure each employee is kept under medical surveillance by a doctor appointed by the Health and Safety Executive.


    Duty to provide washing and changing facilities

    Where an employee could be exposed to asbestos an employer must provide adequate washing and changing facilities and areas to store protective clothing and equipment. 


    Duty relating to storage, distribution and labelling of raw asbestos

    Raw asbestos and waste that contains asbestos must be put into a sealed receptacle and labelled before it is either stored, received into, or dispatched from any place of work. 


    Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DPMS). 

    This scheme provides payment for those suffering from Diffuse Mesothelioma where their employers or their employers' liability insurance company cannot be traced.



    Those who suffer from diffuse mesothelioma and their dependents will be eligible to claim under the (DPMS) if they: 

    • Have been diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma on or after 25th July 2012 (claims through DMPS must come within 3 years of diagnosis);
    • Can show a causal link that it was caused by exposure to asbestos at work;
    • Can show an employer exposed them to asbestos or their insurers cannot be traced, 
    • Have not made a civil claim against any employer or insurer concerning the condition,
    • Have not received damages or a specified payment for mesothelioma. 

    Dependents of a sufferer who has died but who meet the above criteria can also claim under the DPMS. 


    How much can be claimed:

    The amount which can be claimed is dependent on the age of the sufferer when they are first diagnosed or when it is their dependent it is the date of the death of the sufferer. For those diagnosed from 10th February 2015 payments are set out in this table: (It should be noted that these payments include a £7,000 contribution to legal costs).


    How we can help

    Your caseworker would look to either file a claim with your employer, if they cannot be found they can initiate a claim with a governmental claim system. Claims must be received by the administrator within three years of diagnosis.

    Your caseworker will need certain information, this will include: 

    • National Insurance Number;
    • Age when diagnosed;
    • Evidence of diagnosis and date it was made;
    • Full employment history and evidence in support of it;
    • Evidence of any/all attempts to trace your employer/ their insurer;
    • Details of any previous claims made; and
    • A witness statement (if available)


    Once appointed your personal caseworker will appoint one of our excellent third-party medical experts to assess your condition. Please note we make no commission from these referrals but do need clients to open a case so that we can prepare a brief for them. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link. Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal and medical team and to act as your point of contact.

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