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Asbestos exposure in the workplace

Building sites and renovations are typical sites for asbestos exposure

Exposure to asbestos can occur in any number of situations in which you are at work. The classic examples of course have occurred where people are working direct in the asbestos industry, in asbestos mines, or in the downstream processing of asbestos into building materials, such as the notorious James Hardie case.

But equally there are any number of circumstances under which anyone who is in the workforce may be exposed to asbestos. Most commonly are building sites, where health and safety precautions have been neglected and workers come into contact with asbestos fibres released as a result of renovations or building demolitions.

While exposure to asbestos fibres is more likely to put at risk people working directly with the material, there are circumstances under which people who are working nearby, perhaps in an office in which the windows are open, are also exposed to dust particles carried in the air. There is no safe limit of exposure to asbestos because just a single fibre of this deadly material has the capacity to cause acute diseases.

We are one of Australia's leading asbestos compensation law firms

We have won large payouts for hundreds of asbestos sufferers across Australia.

The diseases which arise from asbestos contamination typically take many years to appear. Early symptoms such as shortness of breath can develop into more serious problems such as tumours, and again only after many years have passed.

This is why it is important, if you have worked with asbestos, that you make a record of your employment dates and the nature of your work. In order to help you, RCT operates a record-keeping system.

This will keep your records confidential and safe in case you ever have to access them or make an asbestos-related claim. Note also that this applies equally to family members who may have lived with someone who worked in an asbestos-prone industry. Please let us know if you would like to have us collect and retain this information for you by calling Karen Dimasi on 03 9238 7878.

As employers will contest claims to compensation, it is important that you keep records that can be used by our legal team.

Important – take immediate action

If you have been exposed to asbestos, it is vital that you record the details of your work history – even if you don't have any immediate symptoms.

If you or one of your family members does become sick, these details will be important both for future medical diagnosis and to help pursue your entitlements to compensation.

What are my legal rights?

Legal action can be brought against:

  • Manufacturers of asbestos products
  • Employers
  • Occupiers of premises that have allowed asbestos products to be used.

But what if I'm a smoker?

It doesn't matter. Smoking neither exacerbates nor causes asbestos diseases. You are still entitled to compensation.

What if my employer has gone out of business?

You can still make a claim against the former employer's insurance company.

What about my legal costs?

Our No Win No Fee OR Expenses* policy applies to all asbestos litigation.

Contact

Please call Karen Dimasi on 03 9238 7878.

What other support is available?

With a careful and informed approach to their illness, sufferers of asbestos-related diseases can enjoy improved quality of life. Along with a proper diet and exercise, it's important to have your condition checked regularly by your doctor. The Victorian union movement also offers support with medical diagnosis, treatment and counselling.

Contact:
Workers' Occupational Health Centre
Victorian Trades Hall Council Building
54 Victoria Street
Carlton South Victoria 3053
Tel: 9662 4820
Website: www.wohc.org.au

Call 1300 366 441 or find us at an office near you for advice on Asbestos claims, or to recieve one of our Asbestos Exposure Records to fill in and email or fax back to us. Remember to keep a copy for your own records.