Railway Industry | a History of Asbestos

Anthony Waddington
Senior Associate Solicitor, Industrial Disease Claims

Throughout the mid-20th century, asbestos was heavily used for the building and maintenance of train engines and passenger carriages. This put many people who worked in locomotive workshops at significant risk as they would be exposed to asbestos on a daily basis.

Steam locomotives required regular maintenance to keep them running and engines would frequently come back to the locomotive works for repairs to be carried out. This reparation work would often involve removing asbestos, which would be done without any protective measures in place.

As a result, many locomotive workers have since developed asbestos-related diseases such as:

Symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses often won’t appear until decades after someone is harmfully exposed to the toxic material. As a result, we are still seeing the consequences of the heavy use of asbestos decades later as more people are diagnosed.

If you’ve developed an asbestos-related disease as a result of being exposed to asbestos in a previous workplace, our expert Industrial Disease team could help you claim compensation.

Call us on 0808 239 0144 orrequest a callback

Where was Asbestos Most Commonly Found?

In the mid-1900s, it would not have been difficult to find asbestos lining in a locomotive engine or passenger carriage, places it would usually be found included:

  • engine and boiler rooms;
  • in the lining of brake pads and packing piston cylinders;
  • in the walls and framework of passenger cars.

Often, labourers who were responsible for maintaining and repairing engines and passenger cars would need to cut, sand and smooth materials containing significant amounts of asbestos. This would create a large amount of dust that would be inhaled by workers.

Asbestos-containing waste would often be left in storage on-site which was then disturbed when people entered these areas. As there was rarely any ventilation in the workshops, bystanders would regularly be exposed to asbestos fibres, even if they weren’t working directly with it.

How can an Industrial Disease Lawyer Help?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness after being harmfully exposed to asbestos at work, we could help you access support and compensation.

We can offer wide-ranging support throughout the asbestos claims process, such as:

  • offering advice and guidance on aids for the home and nursing care;
  • putting you in touch with local support networks;
  • providing guidance on making a Will or setting up a trust;
  • helping you to apply for state benefits and lump sum payments;
  • offering support to families who have lost a loved one deal with coroners and inquests.

Our Industrial Disease team are experts and specialise in obtaining compensation for people who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. If you decide to instruct us, we’ll handle your claim with the sensitivity it deserves and work hard to get you a fair outcome.

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How Will the Matter be Funded?

We handle most Industrial Disease claims on No Win, No Fee basis, so you won’t need to worry about paying us unless your claim is successful.

Get in touch with our Industrial Disease team for a Free Claims Assessment.

For free legal advice call our Industrial Disease Solicitors

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