Fatality Stats Show Ongoing Impact Of Asbestos

Rising Rates 'Highlight Need To Protect Workers And Public'

22.08.2011

An industrial disease specialist has reiterated calls for employers to protect workers from the dangers of asbestos following new regional statistics which show the devastating impact of exposure to the material.

The BBC reports that, according to Health and Safety Executive figures, the number of deaths from asbestos-related disease mesothelioma in the East of England is around four times higher than 30 years ago.

A rate of 66.4 per million was recorded between 2006 and 2008, compared to the figure of 14.8 per million between 1982 and 1984.

It was also revealed that only one English region – the West Midlands – saw a larger increase in the number of deaths from the cancer.

Experts at Irwin Mitchell act for people who have developed asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma as a result of being negligently exposed to the deadly material in industrial settings and public buildings.

Rosemary Giles, an industrial disease specialist at the firm’s London office, said: “Figures like these demonstrate how the devastating issue of asbestos exposure continues to impact on a huge number of lives across the UK.

“The increase in the death rate seen is truly appalling and it is particularly shocking that many instances of exposure could have been avoided if the dangers of the material were more widely acknowledged over the years.

“While it is sadly too late for many people affected by asbestos exposure, we hope that research like this sends a clear message to current employers that they cannot ignore the importance of providing workers with the correct equipment and guidance over the handling of the material.

“We have repeatedly called for improvements in safety standards and this will continue until all employers are doing their utmost to protect workers and the public from the risk of asbestos exposure.”