Adverts warning of the dangers of asbestos are to be reintroduced in the UK after they were discontinued last January. Due to Government cuts, the ‘Hidden Killers’ ad campaign was dropped under the Tory-led Government, despite outcry from the public, health experts and a number of charitable organisations.
The advert, launched in 2008 by the Executive and Safety Executive, along with communications agency MS&L, aimed to warn of the risks posed to workers in the construction industry when dealing with asbestos. Around 20 tradesmen die each week in the UK as a result of asbestos-related illnesses and the ad campaign aimed at preventing another generation from suffering from the affects of asbestos exposure. The campaign was so successful that the relevant pages on the HSE site experienced six times as many visitors.
The campaign received a great deal of recognition across Europa and was awarded a European Excellence Award and was shortlisted for a number of other awards. However, the plug was pulled on the campaign in 2008 amidst a number of Government cuts.
Since the advert was dropped, builders’ union Ucatt, along with MPs and various other campaigns have prompted the HSE to reinstate the campaign because of the very real dangers associated with asbestos. Ucatt leader, Guy George, stated: “A fresh phase of the campaign is long overdue. It saves lives.”
Mesothelioma is a huge problem in the UK and asbestos-related illnesses are the biggest workplace killer. As such, the Government must do everything in its power to warn people of the dangers that exist.
As of December 14th, people in Northern Ireland who suffer from asbestos-related pleural plaques will be able to make compensation claims, according to new legislation. In 2007 the House of Lords ruled that victims of asbestos-related pleural plaques would not be able to seek compensation, and the reversal of this ruling is much welcomed by the people of Northern Ireland.
Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, has set aside £2.5million for the claims that are expected, following the legislation. It is estimated that victims of the condition could be compensated up to £15,000.
Although pleural plaques is largely symptomless, it can develop into more serious conditions such as mesothelioma, which can have fatal consequences. As such, the government has recognised the importance of compensating people for their suffering.
Today in the UK the illegal dumping of asbestos is a huge problem. There are several cases each year where asbestos substances are fly-tipped in a bid to avoid having to pay for the proper disposal of the potentially deadly substance.
Just this week, there was a case in Leicester where a substantial amount of broken up asbestos sheets, wrapped up in plastic bags were found dumped on a residential sheet. It goes without saying that this is extremely dangerous, irresponsible and extremely harmful to human life.
There are a number of extremely strict guidelines that must be followed when disposing of asbestos. In addition, it can be costly to get rid of asbestos legally because it is so dangerous; hence lots of people chose to dispose of it illegally. If asbestos is found in a building, it must be removed professionally.
Because the asbestos has been removed from a structure and, in this case, broken up into smaller pieces, the chances are that the asbestos would be dangerous because it had been disturbed. The harmful fibres could become airborne and inhaled, which is when asbestos can be harmful to health.
The law takes these cases extremely seriously and there has been a clamp down in recent years, with substantial sentences imposed on anyone found to be taking part in the illegal disposing of asbestos.
If you’ve been affected by an asbestos related illness due to illegal fly-tipping, you could be eligible to make an asbestos claim. Find out more today.