The recent death of a Redditch man, together with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)'s release of new statistics showing that more than 5,000 people died from asbestos-related diseases in 2013, has led to a prominent law firm calling for employers to fulfil their duty in better protecting their workers from potential exposure to the deadly substance. |
Asbestos Removal: David Henry William Wolfe died aged 78 at his home in Redditch, Worcestershire. His death was caused by mesothelioma - a cancer of the lungs or stomach lining that has long been associated with asbestos exposure. A verdict was reached at his inquest a week after his death on 19th October 2015; his deteriorating health and eventual death deemed to be caused by exposure to asbestos in the workplace.
Wolfe’s death lead to asbestos diseases experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell calling for improvements in how asbestos is monitored, managed and handled. Alida Coates, a Partner and expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at the firm's Birmingham office, stated: "The HSE has been working hard in recent years to reduce the number of people being exposed to asbestos in the workplace." Stats from HSE show that more than 5,000 deaths were attributable to asbestos-related diseases in 2013 alone, with 2538 of these being from mesothelioma.
HSE has also predicted that around 2,500 deaths a year would occur per year from mesothelioma for the remainder of the 2010s, prior to annual numbers beginning to decline. Coates also stated that many of the current mesothelioma cases could be attributed to asbestos exposure from decades ago, with the impact on such individuals' health sometimes only just becoming apparent.
She continued: "Many older buildings, including hospitals and schools, still contain asbestos and, while the risk is relatively low if the material is not disturbed, the consequences can be devastating for those who inhale the fibres when they are released into the air.
"Employers have a duty to protect their workers and we hope that everything possible will be done to prevent any further unnecessary deaths."
These are sentiments that we can sadly only agree with here at Trident Surveying. That is why we would always urge that employers or organisations concerned about the potential presence of the harmful fibres in their premises immediately contact a reputable specialist in asbestos air testing - such as ourselves - to ensure their utmost peace of mind and the safety of their personnel.
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