Asbestos was extensively used as a building material in Great Britain from the 1950's through to the mid 1980's. Its main purpose was to be used as insulation. Any type of building built before 2000 has the chance of containing asbestos; if however the asbestos is in good condition you are safe, it is when the fibres of asbestos become airborne then you have to worry; this happens when the asbestos becomes damaged.
Asbestos fibres continue to be present everywhere in the environment in Great Britain, meaning that everyone is constantly exposed to very low levels of fibres, but this is nothing to worry about; the risk of developing an asbestos related disease comes down to the total number of fibres that you breathe in. Working on or near damaged asbestos-containing materials or breathing in high levels of asbestos fibres, which may be many hundreds of times that of environmental levels could increase your chances of getting an asbestos-related disease.
Inhaling these fibres can cause serious diseases, which are responsible for around 4000 deaths a year. There are three main diseases caused by asbestos: mesothelioma (which is always fatal), lung cancer (almost always fatal) and asbestosis (not always fatal, but it can be very debilitating).
It is important to remember that you won't be affected straight away by an asbestos related disease but you will be later on in life, which is why it is important that you protect yourself now against the damage caused by asbestos.
Some examples of the types of occupations that are most at risk from an asbestos related illness are as follows:
If you are informed by your doctor or consultant that you have an asbestos related illness then it is important that you obtain specialist legal advice as soon as possible as you may be entitled to make a claim compensation for any asbestos related illness. You will be able to make a claim for compensation if your employer failed in their duty of care to protect you against the harmful effects of asbestos. Your employer should find out if you are working with or near asbestos and if you are they should make sure that you receive the correct training and that you are properly supervised. You should also be provided with the correct equipment and safety wear. Failure to do this can leave your employer open to liability cases and means that you are able to make a claim for compensation.
Normally the time limit for making a compensation claim is three years but in the case of asbestos this three year time limit starts from when you are diagnosed with an asbestos related illness.
If you do decide to pursue a compensation claim following an asbestos related illness then you will need to enlist the help of a personal injury specialist, who will be able to guide you through everything you need to know and do in order to give yourself the best chance of winning your compensation claim.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find yourself a solicitor who will be able to help you gain the compensation that you deserve after an asbestos related illness that was caused through no fault of your own.
Paul Barry is the web master of Accident Claim Aid, who are specialists in providing you a service that is second to none when it comes to claiming for compensation after suffering an Asbestos related illness.