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HSE responds to Newcastle Journal article - "Asbestos deaths raise fears over compensation"

15 November 2010

Sir,

We are pleased that Irwin Mitchell are voicing their concern that the number of deaths from mesothelioma is set to increase ("Asbestos deaths raise fears over compensation", 9 November).

Sadly there is nothing we can do to stem the tragic loss of workers who were exposed to asbestos in years gone by - and we know as a result of previous exposures that the numbers dying each year will continue to rise for some years to come. The use of asbestos has been banned in Great Britain for many years now.

We would particularly like to highlight that those most at risk from asbestos today are tradesmen such as plumbers, joiners, electricians, painters and decorators, who may disturb it through their work, particularly in the construction industry and release asbestos fibres. It is important that people in these higher risk jobs understand the hazards and what action they need to take to protect themselves. If tradesmen are not sure whether there is asbestos present where they are working they should stop and check, or search online for our campaign, Asbestos the Hidden Killer.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Pam Waldron
Head of Operations
Health and Safety Executive
Arden House
Gosforth
Newcastle upon Tyne

Updated 2012-01-13