‘Asbestos is still with us’ key message from Asbestos Action 2015 conference

Asbestos in roof sheet

Asbestos Action, a charity who support sufferers of asbestos-related disease, their families and carers, held their 13th annual conference on July 3rd 2015 and the overriding theme this year was ‘Asbestos is still with us’.

Dianne Foster, Support Officer at Asbestos Action speaking at Asbestos Action AGM Conference 2015. Many believe asbestos is a thing of the past, affecting only people who worked for industrial companies many years ago but the truth is asbestos is still prevalent today. Many people in the UK continue to be at risk of asbestos exposure as asbestos remains in many buildings throughout the UK, including schools. Dianne Foster, Support Officer at Asbestos Action stated: "This year more people will die of asbestos related disease than will be killed on the roads".

The Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) are actively campaigning to raise awareness of the levels of asbestos in schools, improve the management of asbestos in education sector buildings and ultimately remove asbestos from schools and colleges, safely.

Sarah Lyons, a senior officer with National Union of Teachers (NUT) and a member of the JUAC, revealed at the conference that “44% don't know if their school contains asbestos”, an alarming figure demonstrating that more needs to be done.

Other speakers at the conference included Nina Maxwell and Fraser Simpson from Digby Brown who discussed the new challenges surrounding civil claims and fighting for justice on behalf of victims of asbestos related conditions.

Fraser Simpson, Partner at Digby Brown and Head of the firm’s Industrial Disease department speaking at Asbestos Action AGM Conference 2015 said:

The work of the Joint Union Asbestos Committee shows how relevant this issue is today.  From employers to the insurance industry and local authorities, there has to be recognition of the risks that asbestos poses, not just to those employed previously in heavy industry and construction, but also to those exposed to asbestos in our schools, hospitals and elsewhere, and a commitment to doing everything possible to eliminate those risks.“

Digby Brown have been working alongside Asbestos Action for a number of years, helping people who have become ill as a result of exposure to asbestos and campaigning alongside the organisation to raise awareness that the risks posed by asbestos are as real now as they have ever been.

Asbestos Action was also our charity of the year, and shortly after the conference, we were over the moon to present a cheque for £27,375.38 to Asbestos Action, money raised by the fundraising efforts of Digby Brown colleagues throughout Scotland to help them continue to carry out the vital work they do for suffers of asbestos related disease.

John Fearn from Asbestos Action, Dianne Foster from Asbestos Action and Fraser Simpson from Digby Brown Solicitors holding cheque for £27,375.38, a result of fundraising efforts of Digby Brown colleagues throughout Scotland

John Fearn from Asbestos Action, Dianne Foster from Asbestos Action and Fraser Simpson from Digby Brown Solicitors

We understand that when someone is told that they have an asbestos-related disease, this can be a very traumatic time for them and their family. Our experience and expertise in asbestos litigation allows us to guide victims and their relatives through the compensation process.

If you, or someone close to you, has developed an illness because of work, please call us on 0333 200 5925 for free, expert advice or fill in our brief enquiry form and someone will contact you.