Christopher Turner, a terminally-ill joiner who says he was exposed to deadly asbestos while employed at Derbyshire County Council, is suing the authority for up to half a million pounds.
Mr Turner, 53, was diagnosed with the deadly industrial lung disease mesothelioma in June last year and was given just six months to live. He stated that he was never warned how dangerous asbestos was despite often working with it and his solicitor has now launched a High Court claim on his behalf.
Mr. Turner said “I had to retire at 52. I would have had another 14 years if I had not got the mesothelioma and I would have been earning throughout that time. It is the minimum I should be compensated for”. Mr Turner, of Riley Avenue, Alfreton, worked restoring and refurbishing old council buildings in the 1970s and 1980s. It was during this time that claims he was exposed to asbestos.
He said: “You would come into contact with it daily, on the back of boilers and things. After it all came out (about how dangerous asbestos was) in 1986 we were all told not to touch it. But the Government knew before this.”
The County Council stated that it is currently facing four other similar cases and that the amount of money being claimed by Mr. Turner – “in excess of £50,000 but limited to £500,000″ – is not unusual. Figures reported by the Derby Telegraph highlight 15 other cases of councils being sued over exposing employees to asbestos.
Fortunately there has now been much legislation implemented to ensure that workers, as well as customers and the public are protected from the inhalation of potentially fatal asbestos fibres. The current Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 provide guidance on how to avoid such risks, for example implementing asbestos identification surveys to either manage asbestos or prior to refurbishment or demolition.
Contact the Armco office on 0161 763 3727 for further details on how to ensure you operate within the asbestos law.
Published Jun 01, 2012