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In November of every year, Asbestos Awareness Month is held. The focus is to provide an education campaign to educate society on the risks involving asbestos and to explain the best ways to manage them. The month also provides an occasion to think of the families whose lives have been so negatively impacted due to asbestos caused illnesses. It’s beneficial to take the time to find out where any community events are held in your area to increase your knowledge. What you learn, will provide necessary protection for you and your family.

Asbestos is a mineral that naturally exists. Its fibrous elements enable it to contain properties which make it highly durable, a great insulator and resistant to heat, water, chemicals and electricity. It’s important to note that asbestos is safe when left undisturbed, but when disturbed the fibres are easily breathed in, which then can cause a risk to a person’s health.

Statistics show that Australia has one of the highest rates of mesolthelioma causing death, due to asbestos poisoning. One of the biggest problems with asbestos related diseases is that they can lie dormant for up to thirty to forty years before symptoms start to manifest. At present, cures for such diseases haven’t been found.

On a positive note, the Australian government has banned asbestos containing materials from entering the country. However their fight continues to find and close illegal importation operations.

In the workplace, employers and employees need to be aware of what asbestos risks are present in their work environment. The top five at risk occupations include:

Construction Workers

Fire fighters

Industrial Workers

Power plant Workers

Shipyard Workers

Asbestos needs to be managed and handled according to the Australian Governments Safe Work guidelines. It’s imperative that in every workplace that safety procedures are detailed and complied with, so the inhaling of asbestos fibres is prevented. The employer is primarily responsible in ensuring a safe work environment for all employees.

Your Rights

As mentioned previously, symptoms relating to asbestos poisoning, aren’t evident until 30-40 years after exposure. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease contracted from a work place, it’s very important that you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. According to Queensland Legislation there is a 6 month time-frame to make a compensation claim from the date of diagnosis.

Please keep in mind, that even if you have been exposed to asbestos, this doesn’t guarantee a positive diagnosis for an asbestos-related illness in the future.

It’s important that you document the following information if you feel you have been exposed to asbestos:

Record when and where the exposure happened. Be thorough in your description. Note down the date, the name of the company, the address and phone numbers. Take any necessary photos that can be provided for evidence. For example photograph the materials which contain asbestos and the situation. Store the photos in a secure place.

Document how the exposure occurred. Detail step by step the events that led to the exposure.

List names of any witnesses and record their contact details. If possible ask them to detail their account in writing of the incident.

Please contact us at Personal Injury Law Brisbane if you wish to discuss any of the above information further. Our specialised lawyers are ready to discuss what your options are.