Former steelworks staff plagued by asbestos-related illnesses, Asons Solicitors Comment

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According to Wales Online, a steelworks plant that operated during the 1960s and 1970s, is the source of a growing number of claims for asbestos-related illnesses. (1)

The British Steel-owned East Moors plant in Splott, Cardiff, closed in 1978, despite this, former workers are now coming forward to pursue asbestos related illness claims through the site’s former owners’, insurance company Zurich Commercial. (1)

According to Wales Online, there are over 10 cases connected with the site, and it is believed that more are likely to surface. (1)

Conditions linked to asbestos exposure include - Mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural thickening. It is quite often the case that such conditions are fatal, with their symptoms surfacing decades after exposure. (1)

William Tobutt, who was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, was employed as a union convener, and a bricklayer at the East Moors site for more than 20 years. Mr. Tobutt has allegedly claimed that workers at the plant were unaware of the risks associated with asbestos exposure. (1)

Mr Tobutt, now 83, was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in January, with doctors estimating his life expectancy to be between eight and 14 months. (1)

“The diagnosis has hit me for six, it really has,” Mr Tobutt, from Llanrumney in Cardiff, said. “The doctor told me I had Mesothelioma, and said my life expectancy due to my age could be between eight and 14 months, but now I am having chemotherapy.” (1)

Employees at the steelworks plant were believed to have been exposed to the material, as it was commonly used as lagging all pipe work; it was also present in a large number of the industrial sized furnaces, and roof sheeting. (1)

Thomas Fairclough, Executive at Asons Solicitors Stated that:

“An Asbestos related illness can lead to a slow, painful death, taking up to 40 years for symptoms to present themselves. It is unfortunate that something hadn’t been done sooner, safeguarding the health of those employed by the steelworks.”

Moves have already been made by Assembly Members to address compensation arrangements for sufferers of asbestos-related illnesses, with a Private Member’s Bill by Pontypridd AM Mick Antoniw tabled to be debated this autumn. (1)

The Bill aims to get employers to pay for the treatment of workers, who contracted asbestos-related diseases, but its passage through the Senedd has been delayed, after the Department for Work and Pensions raised concerns. (1)

Mr Antoniw said he had heard examples from East Moors, and other sites in the 1960s, where employees used to have “snowball fights” with the material, as they were not aware of the dangers they were exposed to. (1)

He said: “Steelworks such as those at East Moors have always been known as a significant source of some of the worst examples of these types of conditions because of asbestos.” (1)

“I have heard of stories that came about with people having snowball fights in the 60s – young apprentices that would join a workplace and then they’d have ‘snow time’ where they came in and they’d tip asbestos down on him, because they didn't know about it.” (1)

According to the HSE, Men who worked in the building industry, when asbestos was used extensively, are now among those most at risk of Mesothelioma. Predictions have been made, that in the worst case, annual deaths for men with asbestos related illnesses will increase to a peak of about 2100, around the year 2016. (2)

Asons Solicitors suggest that if someone would like to learn more about asbestos related illnesses, or if they would like to better understand Mesothelioma claims process, that such information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133

(1)    Former steelworks staff claiming for asbestos related diseases - http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/former-steelworks-staff-claiming-asbestos-related-6111702 - Wales Online September 2013
(2)    Mesothelioma Statistics - http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/mesothelioma/ - Health and Safety Executive

Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:
Email: info@asons.co.uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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John King
@AsonsSolicitors
since: 01/2013
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