Nottingham Forest Manager, Stuart Pearce, backs new asbestos campaign

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Stuart Pearce, the former England footballer, added his backing to a new Health and Safety Executive campaign highlighting the ongoing danger of exposure to asbestos.

In an article with the Manchester Evening News, the ex-Manchester City manager said he could have been exposed in the past when working as an electrician. Before turning pro aged 21, Pearce worked as an apprentice electrician in London and now wanted to highlight the ongoing risk to other tradespeople of working with asbestos.

The HSE recently launched a new web app and campaign titled "Beware asbestos" which listed common locations where asbestos can be found both inside and out of residential and commercial premises. The website targets electricians, plumbers, builders and other contractors who may come into contact with asbestos while working in their everyday profession.

Pearce noted how the tragic deaths could be preventable in future, he added “every tradesperson that falls victim to asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis is one too many…let’s make asbestos deaths a thing of the past.”

The new website contains a gallery of common locations of asbestos, including insulation, lagging, floor tiles, ceiling tiles and fire doors to help tradespeople to identify the potential risks. The HSE advises that asbestos is still present in millions of homes and buildings across the Country and reminds tradespeople that all business premises and public buildings should have a plan showing any asbestos in the building, which should be reviewed before starting a job.

Over 20 tradespeople, on average, die a week from an asbestos related condition, including Mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer, with the peak of the deaths expected sometime between 2015 and 2020, according to recent medical reports. Sadly even a small amount of exposure to the dust can cause Mesothelioma to develop in later life, with the delay between exposure and symptoms developing, ranging from an average of 20 to 40 years.

Many tradespeople including shipbuilders, electricians, plumbers, builders and laggers were exposed to the dust during the 1950's, 60's, 70's and 80's. While the individuals themselves may have been unaware of the dangers of asbestos at the time, many companies and institutions were aware, or should have been aware, that asbestos could present such a danger. As many companies failed to take sufficient steps to safeguard their employees, individuals who have since developed asbestos related diseases may now be eligible for compensation.

If you or a family member has contracted an asbestos related disease such as Mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening or lung cancer you may be eligible for compensation even where the employer is no longer trading. 

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