What are the Industries Most Affected by Asbestos Illnesses?

Posted on: 3 mins read
Anthony Waddington

Partner, Industrial Disease Claims

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Over the past few decades, the number of deaths of people who have suffered from asbestos related diseases has become more and more significant. This is because prior to 1999 the use of asbestos in buildings and in various products was quite widespread and its side effects were relatively unknown.

Although plenty of people came into contact with the material it only became dangerous if it broke in some way and you were exposed to the fibres.

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What Professions Were Exposed Most to Asbestos?

According to data from the Health and Safety Executive the following jobs were most at risk of asbestos exposure;

  • Metal Plate Workers
  • Coach and Vehicle Body Builders
  • Asbestos Product Manufacturers
  • Laggers
  • Boiler Attendants
  • Dockers, Shipbuilder or working on board a ship

  • Construction workers
  • Railway Workers
  • Chemists
  • Electrical Trade Workers
  • Plant and Machine Operatives
  • Plumbing and heating Engineers

This list is not exhaustive and there are many different ways you could be exposed to asbestos. Even if you did not personally work with asbestos but were a regular visitor to a workplace where asbestos was prevalent, or you were present in a workplace when maintenance work was carried out on asbestos materials, or asbestos was disturbed during refurbishments that could be enough for you have been exposed to sufficient fibres to cause asbestos disease.

Also you could have been exposed to asbestos by living with someone who worked in one of the above trades and who brought asbestos into the home on their clothing.

If you are suffering from an asbestos related disease, our team of Industrial Disease Solicitors can help you get the care, support and rehabilitation you need. Get in touch today for a free claims assessment.

If I Have Been Affected, What do I do?

The longer you worked in a high-risk job where you could have been exposed to asbestos fibres, the more likelihood there is of you developing an asbestos related disease, however even small amounts of asbestos can lead to deadly diseases. It is important to know that many people do not develop associated illnesses until much later in life, long after their exposure to asbestos ceases.

If you become ill with an asbestos disease and you are not sure where you were exposed to asbestos, we can assist to track down where your likely exposure took place, with help from your work and national insurance records. If you don’t have them, we can contact the HMRC on your behalf. They hold records of every workplace where you have paid tax and this information can be invaluable in pinpointing dates and names of companies you may have worked for many years previously.

If the company that employed you no longer exists or has changed its name, again we can investigate and attempt to find out who will be liable for your claim. Usually an insurance policy can be traced for the company you worked for, which will have a liability for illnesses caused as a result of the exposures you experienced during the time you worked there. We can approach the company on your behalf and send a letter of claim. They will then have up to three months to carry out their own investigation and advise upon whether liability is accepted. We can compile a formal claim which would include evidence of your losses, including things like pain and suffering and loss of income, medical expenses, any changes to your home due to your illness and much more.

When can I Claim?

In England and Wales, you must make a claim within three years of the date you found out that an illness has been caused by your work, which is usually the date of diagnosis. If you are claiming on behalf of a family member who has died, then you must make a claim within 3 years from of date of them passing away. Because of the strict time limits you should contact our specialist Industrial Disease Solicitors as soon as possible so we can start investigating your claim. Often these cases are funded through a No Win No Fee agreement which means if your claim is not successful you won’t pay any fees.

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