Asbestos deaths continue
New cases of ill health caused by exposure to asbestos are still pouring in, unions have told a seminar organised by the Northern region TUC and Thompsons Solicitors.The seminar was held last month to highlight the issues and point to the risks from asbestos in public buildings. "Increasingly we are seeing workers, particularly those in public services, experiencing asbestos poisoning as public buildings built in the 1960s and earlier begin to crumble," said Northern TUC regional secretary Kevin Rowan. " Almost all of these buildings - town halls, libraries and schools - are littered with asbestos that presents a risk to those that work there and the members of the public that use those buildings and services."
TUC figures show that 12,000 people have died from asbestos poisoning since 2002, and it forecasts that the death toll will rise to 10,000 people a year by 2015.
* A former shipyard worker whose wife died from cancer has lost his compensation payout.
Teresa Maguire contracted the disease through secondary exposure to asbestos dust on husband James' work clothes, after he worked at a ship repair yard in the 1960s. She died last May just weeks after being awarded £82,000 damages against the company by the High Court.
However, last month the Court of Appeal overturned the decision. It ruled that Harland and Wolff, which owned the shipyard, were not liable for her death, since they could not have foreseen that she would suffer personal injury given the state of knowledge at the time about the risks of secondary asbestos exposure.