Can I Claim for Asbestosis?
Yes. At Simpson Millar, we’ve successfully claimed compensation for thousands of individuals who developed an asbestos disease due to being exposed to asbestos at work dating as far back as the 1940s.
The amount of compensation awarded will depend on the extent and severity of the asbestosis symptoms and respiratory disability. For more information see our Asbestosis Compensation Payouts Guide.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with asbestosis or another asbestos-related illness, please get in touch with our specialist Industrial Disease Solicitors to see how we can help you. We may be able to visit you at home (in England or Wales) and deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for details.
Asbestosis and the Law in the UK
As far back as the mid-1920s, the dangers of prolonged and heavy exposure to asbestos and the risk of asbestosis have been documented. The UK government introduced the Asbestos Industry Regulations 1931 into law in order to protect workers, and impose duties on employers involved, specifically in the manufacture of asbestos materials and products.
A few years later, the UK government introduced the Factories Act 1937 which, although not specifically mentioning asbestos, placed duties on factory owners to protect employees from working amongst substantial amounts of dust, including asbestos. The Factories Act 1937 was updated in 1961 and repeated the duty on factory owners to protect employees from working with substantial amounts of dust, which would include asbestos.
The Asbestos Regulations 1969 were then introduced following the Factories Act 1961. These regulations went much further than the earlier rules, imposing duties on all employers which used asbestos or products containing asbestos in their manufacturing process. Duties such as having to minimise exposure to asbestos dust through Personal Protective Equipment, ventilation and cleaning were imposed on employers by this legislation.
Asbestosis Claims and Employers Liability
What’s clear from all of the above legislation is that employers have been under a duty for many years to take measures to protect employees from exposure to asbestos dust.
Employers who have historically exposed their employees to asbestos cannot seek to defend an industrial disease claim on the basis that they were unaware asbestos exposure was dangerous and they didn’t have a duty to protect employees.
Asbestosis compensation can be claimed even when the employer went out of business years ago. For details get in touch with our Industrial Disease Solicitors.
What is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a term used to describe a serious lung condition which is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos dust and fibres. It’s a type of pulmonary fibrosis, which is a chronic disease characterised by scarring in the lungs.
When asbestos dust and fibres are breathed into the lungs, they can get lodged inside and gradually cause damage to the lungs over time. This causes scarring to occur, which in turn leads to a person’s lungs shrinking and hardening.
What are the Symptoms of Asbestosis?
The symptoms of Asbestosis can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent coughing
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Pain in the chest and shoulders
- Clubbed or swollen finger tips
Asbestosis is sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (i.e. Pulmonary Fibrosis of no known cause), where the history of asbestos exposure hasn’t been considered by those making the diagnosis.
Some asbestos-related lung conditions such as Pleural Plaques, Pleural Thickening or Mesothelioma can be caused by infrequent or minimal exposure to asbestos.
By contrast, Asbestosis is usually only associated with prolonged exposure to asbestos in the workplace over several years, or very high-volume exposure to asbestos over a few years.
Because the damage caused to the lungs by asbestos fibres takes place gradually over time, Asbestosis is usually only diagnosed many years after the workplace exposure to asbestos has taken place. Unfortunately, there’s no known cure for Asbestosis, but certain treatments can alleviate symptoms such as pulmonary rehabilitation exercises and oxygen therapy.
For free legal advice call our Industrial Disease Solicitors
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.