The Rise in Asbestos-related Claims

15th January 2017 by ProDEM

As we saw last month, asbestos-related illnesses are still prevalent today, with many cases being reported long after initial exposure. While we previously focused on the problem of asbestos exposure in schools, they aren’t the only places in the country where asbestos is still a major problem.

In this article, we’re taking a look at the rising claims of asbestos-related disease becoming prevalent throughout a variety of locations.

Shock rise in asbestos claims

The spectre of asbestos is still a major presence throughout the country, as thousands of cases of mesothelioma come to light each year. These aren’t limited to construction or shipyard workers, people from all walks of life are being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases after being exposed to the harmful material in places such as hospitals, churches, houses and more.

While asbestos is typically harmless when the fibres aren’t exposed or disturbed, its presence in buildings still creates an air of unpredictability and danger, and this is apparent from the sheer number of asbestos-related cases making the news. The longer asbestos is left in place, the more chance it has of affecting a wider number of people, especially if they are unaware of its presence in the first place.

Church, hospital and home

There are a few recent cases which act as good examples of the current danger of asbestos, as compensation payments are being made in the millions as more cases become public.

Two London hospitals run by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust have seen 20 claims since 2001, with the Trust paying out over £1.3 million in compensation to victims and their families. Doctors, nurses, hospital workers and medical students are all been at risk, and the Trust has spent over £3.9 million on the removal of asbestos from its various facilities.

Another case has seen asbestos found in a church organ, which saw the church in question being closed until an investigation was carried out, while a particularly alarming case comes with asbestos being found in vacant council homes in Stoke-on-Trent. In this case, the presence of asbestos led to a long delay before the homes were ready for use as asbestos checks and remodelling took much longer than expected. It’s somewhat positive to see a dedicated asbestos checking process in action, but this still raises many questions when it comes to how much asbestos is prevalent in other homes around the country.

It isn’t surprising, given how widely spread asbestos usage was during the 20th century, that so many cases of asbestos-related diseases are being reported – or that asbestos is still being found in buildings today. Although medical practises have improved over the years, and diagnoses of asbestos-related disease is easier than it used to be, the number of fatalities as a result of asbestos isn’t slowing down.

Poor removal of asbestos

One of the main dangers with asbestos is making sure that it is removed from sites safely, without causing any widespread exposure. A case of a lichfield company hiring an unlicensed contractor to remove asbestos-containing materials led to a £35,000 payout for breach of health and safety guidelines. Unsafe removal of these materials, from any property, can potentially expose workers, members of the public and residents of the property to asbestos fibers. If these people are unaware of the presence of asbestos, or their exposure to it, seeking treatment or diagnosis is almost impossible. This leads to a diagnosis much later in life, once symptoms have become more noticeable.

A case such as this makes it easy to see how asbestos-related fatalities continue to occur each year, with people only now seeing the result of exposure which happened decades ago. This is why the safe, meticulous removal of asbestos from all properties is vital, as is the need for a greater level of general awareness of the dangers of asbestos, and how prevalent it still is all over the country.

Here at ProDEM, we specialise in safe, efficient and reliable removal of asbestos from commercial and domestic properties throughout Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and beyond. We are a fully licensed asbestos removal company who perform large and small asbestos disposal services using the safest working practices. If you require any quantity of asbestos removed from your property, dont hesitate to get in touch with us today, our friendly team is happy to help with any enquiry.