Despite the fact that asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999, due to the nature of asbestos-related illnesses, which often take decades to materialise, we are still seeing thousands of people in the UK die as a result of asbestos exposure every single year. With many victims having now forgotten that they were previously exposed to the substance many years before, a diagnosis of an asbestos-related condition can come as a real shock to them and their families. Sadly, the prognosis at this point is often very poor and their quality of life can be badly affected by their symptoms. At Dedicated Accident Solicitors, we are committed to raising awareness about asbestos and the help and support that is available for victims and their families. We have compiled some of the ways in which asbestos has been making the news in November 2018.

A former professional footballer, who played for Ipswich Town for more than 10 years, has passed away from mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, at the age of 71. The recent inquest into the death of Colin Harper, who worked as an apprentice joiner and carpenter before his football career took off, recorded a conclusion of death due to industrial disease. Mr Harper was known to have cut asbestos material when he was an apprentice, which created a lot of dust, but he was never warned of the dangers of exposure to asbestos, or provided with any protective equipment, such as a mask.

A residential property development company has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive for failing to carry out a proper asbestos assessment before starting refurbishment work on a project in Fulham, London. It is reported that no precautions were taken to protect workers when the company removed asbestos material from the site, as a survey had not been carried out to ascertain the presence of asbestos in the building.

The Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) has expressed serious concern over their allegation that there is a lack of funding allocated by the UK government to deal with the asbestos that is known to be present in up to 90% of schools across the nation. Any school that was built before the year 2000 could contain asbestos materials, due to its widespread use in construction before it was banned. JUAC is a trade union campaigning committee made up of eight unions and considers that children’s lives are being put at risk whilst the government delays in earmarking funds to manage the safe removal and disposal of asbestos from schools. The substance is commonly found in areas such as ceiling tiles, wall panels, flooring and door frames and becomes dangerous when it starts to deteriorate or is disturbed.

The Department for Education is currently requesting information from schools on their asbestos management processes, with findings due in 2019, and states that it has already allocated £5.6 million for essential maintenance of schools, including the removal of asbestos. A spokesperson for the Department stated that asbestos is also a factor when choosing which schools to rebuild through the Priority School Building Programme.

A man from Cumbria has died as a result of his exposure to asbestos more than 50 years ago. John Fogg, from Cartmel, was a former Barrow shipyard worker during the 1950s and 60s, involved in the construction of submarine vessels, and the inquest into his death heard that this was where he was routinely exposed to asbestos during the course of his duties. Mr Fogg was 75 years old when he passed away, and the Coroner ruled that there was no doubt that this was an industrial disease case.

If you, or someone in your family, have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may not know what help and advice is available to support victims and their loved ones. Dedicated Accident Solicitors can offer free initial advice if you are considering making an asbestos compensation claim, and can also help signpost you to practical support services to assist with other aspects of life after diagnosis. Get in touch today on our website, or call us on 01332 897 222.