Asbestos continues to haunt Australia, with at least one new story emerging about the problem every week in the media. Of course, it isn’t just homeowners and renovators that need to be aware of the problem, tradies and handymen are also at risk of exposure.
As the threat of asbestos continues, events such as National Asbestos Awareness Month 2015 only prove to highlight why Australians should take this problem more seriously and avoid all contact with the deadly fibres. National Asbestos Awareness Month lasts until the end of November and provides an opportunity to learn more about the issue.
Chair of the Asbestos Education Committee Peter Dunphy explained that around one in three Australian homes contain some form of asbestos-related material.
“Because Australia was among the highest consumers of asbestos products in the world, asbestos containing materials are common in homes built or renovated before 1987 with a broad range of products still commonly found in and around any brick, weatherboard, fibro or clad home,” he said.
“Without knowing where these products might be found in homes, people are playing ‘Renovation Roulette’ and putting their health and the health of families at risk.”
The focus of National Asbestos Awareness Month is around identifying and managing safety in relation to the deadly fibres. As such, the committee has established the 20 Point Asbestos Safety Check and published other documents to assist both homeowners and tradies.
Who is most at risk from asbestos exposure?
According to a 2014 Safe Work Australia document, there were more than 600 deaths as a result of mesothelioma and 125 from asbestosis in 2011. The majority of these incidents were related to workers.
“Tradespeople are particularly vulnerable as they come into contact with products that may contain asbestos every day of their working life and need to be doubly aware of the risks and know safe management practices of working with asbestos,” Mr Dunphy continued.
The Asbestos Education Committee also reminded Australians that there is no cure to mesothelioma and that the average survival rate after diagnosis is less than a year. In fact, the symptoms of mesothelioma don’t emerge for 20-50 years after exposure.
Asbestos claims in NSW
Under New South Wales law, you are entitled to claim compensation on many dust-related conditions including asbestos and mesothelioma. The claim can be made irrelevant of the time of exposure. It could be yesterday or 30 years ago.
For more information, get in touch with the compensation lawyers at Gerard Malouf Partners today.