Action Mesothelioma Day 2020: asbestos in the workplace

July 3rd, 2020

July 3rd 2020 is Action Mesothelioma Day. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that grows in the lining of organs – often the lungs – and is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos.

The Occupational Disease solicitors at Verisona have worked with a number of individuals that have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace and, as a result, developed mesothelioma.

What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?

The main symptoms of mesothelioma in the lungs are chest pains, a persistent cough and shortness of breath, in addition to unexplained weight loss, fatigue and swollen/clubbed fingertips.

Many other conditions also have similar symptoms, but if you present with these you should seek advice from a healthcare professional.

Mesothelioma symptoms often don’t appear for a long time after asbestos exposure, with several decades often passing between exposure and a diagnosis.

Asbestos in the workplace

Asbestos was used as a building material for many years, but its hazardous nature was brought to light in the 1970s and the UK banned its use in 1999.

In most cases, asbestos is unlikely to cause any issues if it’s not disturbed, so someone could be in a building containing asbestos and not develop any form of health condition. However, those that work in jobs that could damage the asbestos are at much greater risk. At Verisona Law, we have represented individuals from a range of different industries, particularly:

  • Construction workers
  • Firefighters
  • Industrial workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Telecommunication engineers
  • Mechanics

Asbestos is a hazardous material, and employers must ensure that their employee’s are not at risk due to exposure. It is when the proper health and safety procedures, including training, are not well implemented that employees suffer.

Compensation for mesothelioma – a case study

Our Occupational Disease team were instructed to act for the family of a gentleman who has sadly died as a result of developing malignant mesothelioma. The gentleman had been employed by a large engineering company who built engines for ships and also repaired engines in ships, working inside ships as well as outside in the workshop.

During his apprenticeship, he was required to assist the laggers on a very regular basis, resulting in him being present when the laggers mixed the asbestos in confined spaces. He also undertook regular work in the construction of engines and in particular steam engines where the pipes and boilers were lagged with asbestos containing products. He undertook the dismantling of engines for repair which included disturbing asbestos lagging which caused large quantities of asbestos dust being created within the confined area in which he was working. The deceased sadly developed malignant mesothelioma many years after his employment. We recovered damages in the region of £100,000.00.

If you’ve been diagnosed with an illness due to unsafe practices in the workplace, our team will take the time to understand your situation and ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family. Get in touch today on 02392 981000 or email