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A Worcester school has received an official reprimand after the union UNISON raised concerns about dangerous work with asbestos. The global asbestos industry is engaged in a well-resourced defence of its deadly product. The TUC, calling for government action on the release of mortality figures for the cancer mesothelioma, said although most people have probably never heard of mesothelioma the new figures for 2014 show that “for the third year running, the number of deaths from mesothelioma has been over 2,500 and this level is likely to continue for at least the rest of the decade.” TUC Stronger Unions blog. Campaigners marked Action Mesothelioma Day on 1 July with high profile events nationwide. Video of AMD 2016 presentation by NUT’s Sarah Lyons. Events to mark AMD 2016 have been organised nationwide by asbestos victims support groups. A Unite member from Birmingham has received damages after suffering a crush injury to his hand and the partial amputation of his thumb because he didn’t have adequate safety training at work. A Unite member who developed diffuse pleural thickening as a result of exposure to asbestos at work has received an undisclosed payout. It is time to get rid of asbestos for good, the TUC has said. A conference motion commits the union to “name, shame and publicise councils, housing associations and private contractors involved in exposing UCATT members to asbestos.” Morning Star. Former colleagues of a man who died from asbestos-related cancer are being urged to help with an investigation into how he came into contact with the harmful substance. Concerns have been raised about asbestos being imported into Australia in cheap building materials, with more than 50 sites thought to be affected. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served the force with an improvement notice following inspections at four sites in Glasgow earlier this year. Unite member Jack Coleman from Cleckheaton worked as a plumber at Leeds General Infirmary from 1980 until 2004, where he repaired pipework lagged with asbestos in the hospital. FBU news release • Risks 669 • A retired school cleaner diagnosed with a terminal asbestos-related cancer is appealing to her former work colleagues to help with an investigation into how and when she was exposed to the deadly dust. A single type of asbestos cancer has killed over 2,500 people for three consecutive years, latest official statistics show. The economic burden of lung cancer and mesothelioma from work-related asbestos exposure in Canada amounts to an average of Can8,000 (£471,000) per case, according to a team led by health economist and senior scientist Dr Emile Tompa at the Toronto-based Institute for Work & Health. Mines and Mining Development deputy minister, Fred Moyo, said: “We are not getting investors [for SMM] and it seems to be a big problem largely because the market for asbestos is not looking good.” Financial Gazette. Now in its 10th year, Action Mesothelioma Day (AMD) is held on the first Friday in July, this year falling on Friday 1 July. Social housing landlords should have a “legal duty” to undertake asbestos surveys and should give the results to tenants and maintenance workers, the construction union UCATT has affirmed. Police Scotland has been told to take ‘remedial action’ over the presence of asbestos in some of its buildings. Patrick worked as a technical engineer between 19 at locations including Wenvoe, Wood Norton, Daventry, Sutton Coldfield, Wooferton, Washford, Ascension Island, Droitwich and Bressay. Anyone who may have any relevant information should contact Jackie Wood at Thompsons on 02. The family of a West Yorkshire maintenance worker who developed a disabling lung condition after working with asbestos has received compensation from the NHS. The Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) said case histories it identified underlined “systematic failings” in the way asbestos in school premises was dealt with by successive governments. The FBU member, whose name has not been released but who worked at a central Newcastle fire station for over 25 years, was diagnosed with mesothelioma on 1 August 2011 and died three days later. The Russian mafia is the force behind a powerful international pro-asbestos lobby, a Senate inquiry in Brisbane, Australia, has heard. In a major victory for Canada’s trade union movement, the country’s federal government has announced a ban on the import, export, manufacture and use of asbestos. In the first case, a former chemical worker from Middlesbrough was awarded £180,000. A former plumber and heating engineer has received £20,000 in damages after developing the disabling lung scarring condition asbestosis. A former firefighter from Merseyside has received ‘substantial’ compensation after he developed the asbestos-related condition, pleural thickening. A former Unite union representative has received £38,000 compensation after developing the asbestos-related condition, diffuse pleural thickening. Asbestos is the leading cause of work-related death in Canada, prompting renewed union calls on the federal government to ban asbestos. disease Doctors in Scotland are to be given new guidance on how to diagnose asbestos-related disease in the hope of improving care for sufferers. Mick Whelan, general secretary at ASLEF, said: “Our member was never provided with any protective equipment throughout the course of his career, which left him defenceless against inhaling asbestos.” Thompsons Solicitors news release. MPs could move out of the Houses of Parliament for six years if they back a parliamentary committee's recommendation to temporarily decant so restoration work can take place on the ‘asbestos riddled’ buildings. A Hampshire man has received £110,000 in compensation after developing lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said as the new chair of the Asbestos in Schools (Ai S) group she would “be pressing the new education secretary, Justine Greening, to do more to deal with the threat that a report from the all-party parliamentary group on occupational health and safety described as the ‘timebomb in our schools’.” Labourlist. The move came after UK unions and asbestos victims’ and campaign groups told the regulator illegal imports into Australia by Yuanda Australia PTY Ltd were only exposed as a result of union vigilance, and queried whether Yuanda UK could have obtained asbestos-containing materials for use in the major UK construction projects with which it is involved. St Albans Magistrates’ Court heard how Ace of Hearts Home Improvement Limited (AOH) removed asbestos containing materials (ACM) from a domestic property in St Albans. House of Commons Justice Committee: Mesothelioma claims and news release • TUC news release • Thompsons Solicitors news release • Irwin Mitchell Solicitors news release • Risks 666 • Unions have welcomed the Justice Select Committee’s call for a full governmental review on changes to the legal funding of personal injury claims. The Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) was commenting after a coroner investigating the death in June of retired teacher Sue Stephens ruled she died following exposure to asbestos at work. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement was the first major benchmark established by Congress when it passed sweeping changes earlier this year to the Toxic Substances Control Act. Dave Green, FBU national officer, said: “Our member dedicated 30 years of his career to the fire service, but tragically his loyalty to his job has led to him to developing this terrible condition.” FBU news release. The union Unite has secured two six figure settlements after members developed the aggressive asbestos cancer mesothelioma. A former railway worker from Luton has received compensation after asbestos exposure caused him to develop a disabling lung condition. A Labour MP has accused the government of failing to protect children and teachers from “an asbestos timebomb” in our schools. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to launch a formal investigation into the possibility of illegal asbestos imports to the UK. A home improvement company has been fined after removing asbestos material from a domestic property unsafely and without a licence. The International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS) said: “It Yuanda Australia imported asbestos-containing building materials, it is not unreasonable to suspect that Yuanda UK Co Ltd could have done likewise.” IBAS news release. The Justice Select Committee report published on 1 August is highly critical of a government review that concluded a costs exemption for mesothelioma sufferers should end.
The initiative was included in Chancellor George Osborne’s March budget. The call from Philip Venoit, president of Vancouver Island Building and Construction Trades Council, came after latest figures from Statistics Canada revealed new cases of the asbestos cancer mesothelioma had doubled across the country, from 276 cases in 1992 to 560 cases in 2012. The alert came after Lincolnshire coroner Paul Kelly recorded that Elizabeth Belt, who taught in schools in the county from 1968 to 1995, died as a result of an industrial disease, the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma. The accused, who include Franco De Benedetti, the current chief of scooter manufacturer Piaggio, worked for the company between the late 1970s and 2000. Representatives from the Williamson Trust pleaded guilty at Medway Magistrates Court, where it was heard asbestos had been uncovered during work in 2012 at the Hundred of Hoo Academy, one of the trust’s schools. At least seven workers are known to have been exposed to asbestos – one aged just 17 at the time – by snooker hall manager Akram Hussain, 52, and taxi driver Inam Hussain, 47, during refurbishment work at a former print works in Burslem.
The documents held by building products giant Cape – previously an asbestos multinational – were due to be destroyed. Graham Dring v Cape Distribution Limited, Cape Intermediate Holdings Limited, Concept 70 Limited (and others) Aviva Plc, 5 December 2017. Barriers and Facilitators to the Elimination of Asbestos Related Diseases—Stakeholders’ Perspectives, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, volume 14, number 10, 2017. A waste removal contractor from Bridgend has been fined after undertaking asbestos removal work at two locations without the required licence. A retired headteacher died of an asbestos cancer she believed was caused by exposure to the deadly fibre during her teaching career. Asbestos imports to the US nearly doubled in 2016, reversing a long-term decline, latest figures have shown. A London council has been warned it needs to act now or face an official safety probe after the union GMB discovered workers had been unwittingly exposed to asbestos. Asbestos isn’t just the biggest industrial killer of all time, it is also a massive drain on the economy, new research has confirmed. Three companies have been fined a total of more than £1m after workers were exposed to asbestos is a school that was still occupied by schoolchildren. A young mum has become one of youngest to die of an asbestos-related disease at just 34 – but never found out how she contracted her cancer. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) annual statistics on deaths in Great Britain resulting from the asbestos cancer mesothelioma and from fatalities at work show an overall increase on the previous year, with fatalities down from 147 to 137, but mesothelioma deaths up from 2,519 to 2,542. A United Nations agency has again added its voice to calls for a global asbestos ban. Fife Council must undertake an urgent ‘root and branch review’ of its workplace health and safety policies after seven staff members were exposed to deadly asbestos, a union has said. Indonesia had never before formally recognised a case of asbestosis, with sufferers routinely misdiagnosed with tuberculosis. The document, launched by Jeremy Corbyn on 16 May, notes: “Labour will also invest in new school buildings, including the phased removal of asbestos from existing schools.” Labour Party Manifesto 2017. A United Nations (UN) treaty on the control of toxic exports has been ‘utterly discredited’, unions have said. Complaint to the journal • Background from Hazards and Right On Canada on David Bernstein’s industry links • Risks 661 • A 53-year-old shopworker who was exposed to asbestos on the shop floor whilst working for Marks & Spencer, has won her case for cancer compensation in the High Court.
Lucy P Allen, Jorge Baez, Mary Elizabeth C Stern and Frank George. Electrical workers have stopped work on the massive renovation of the Sydney Opera House, refusing to continue with the installation of cabling after receiving confirmation that potentially deadly asbestos had again been located in work areas. Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard how on 1 September and 7 November 2016 Mark John Gibson, who advertised as asbestos removal service All-Gone Waste, was contracted to remove asbestos containing materials from properties in Pont Y Clun and Dyffryn Chapel, Caerau. A 21 September inquest at Exeter’s County Hall heard how Cathy Kowan, who was living in Exmouth at the time of her death, had varied jobs, but the majority was spent working in education. “Opponents of an asbestos ban have long argued that asbestos use is shrinking in the United States, but now we know just the opposite is true,” said Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). The union, which represents the workers employed as heating engineers by FM360, a subsidiary of Hounslow Council’s in-house trading company Lampton, said it understands the employees unknowingly sawed through asbestos when carrying out the work in a residential property, under the false impression that FM360 had carried out the relevant checks and surveys to identify the risk of exposure to asbestos. Canadian researchers estimated the lifetime cost of newly diagnosed lung cancer and mesothelioma cases associated with occupational and para-occupational [typically exposed family members] asbestos exposure for the calendar year 2011, including healthcare, productivity and output, and quality of life costs. The economic burden of lung cancer and mesothelioma due to occupational and para-occupational asbestos exposure, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, published Online First 29 July 2017. The director of a company that removed asbestos with hammers and used wet wipes to clean it up had “a cavalier attitude to safety”, a court has heard. A former trading division of contractor Balfour Beatty, its client and its demolition contractor have together been fined £1.27m after exposing workers to asbestos during a project to create new premises for an expanding primary school. The continuing presence of asbestos in our schools is a ‘scandal’, as is the ‘shocking’ lack of consistency in the way in which it is managed across the country, education unions have said. Kirsty List died last month, leaving five-year-old daughter Aimee, and believed she may have been exposed to asbestos either while a pupil at school or when she worked as a barmaid. HSE news release, statistics webpage and headline provisional fatality figures for 2016/17 and mesothelioma statistics. Ukraine’s government has announced its national ban on all asbestos use has come into force. New Brexit minister Steve Baker has lobbied the government to weaken asbestos laws, Unite has revealed. A new World Health Organisation (WHO) factsheet, released on 13 June at the 6th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in Ostrava, Czech Republic, notes “the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases it to stop using all forms of asbestos.” Elimination of Asbestos-Related Diseases, World Health Organisation, 13 June 2017. GMB Scotland said workers in the parks, streets and open spaces service were exposed when dealing with a fly tipping incident at Heathery Wood, but a ‘scandalous’ breakdown in communication at management and supervisory levels left staff unaware they were handling contaminated waste. The charge came after a bid to add chrysotile asbestos – the only form of the cancer-causing fibre still traded – to the Rotterdam Convention’s list of the most hazardous substances was blocked for a sixth time. Janice Allen worked in two M&S stores between 19, first in its flagship store on London's Oxford Street and then at its Uxbridge branch as a supervisor.
A United Nations (UN) treaty on the control of toxic exports has been ‘utterly discredited’, unions have said. The move by UNIONS NSW came after revelations that an engineering company with a history of importing asbestos is refusing to remove the illegal building material. The scheme, which is for mesothelioma victims who have been prevented from claiming compensation because they cannot trace a liable employer or an employers’ liability insurer, was introduced after a high profile campaign by unions and occupational disease victims’ advocates. Lawyer Harminder Bains said: “This judgment should mean fairer compensation for anyone diagnosed with a life shortening illness, or who has suffered a severe injury, and are faced with the choice of whether to bring claims in their lifetimes, or after their death via their estates.” Leigh Day news release and the full judgment. London’s Merton Council has accepted liability for the death of a teacher who was exposed to asbestos at a school in Mitcham. A demolition company director has been jailed after putting workers and nearby residents at risk of “serious harm” by exposing them to asbestos. The BC Insulators Union and the BC Federation of Labour said they were ‘extremely relieved’ the BC Court of Appeal had unanimously overturned a February 2016 BC Supreme Court ruling that laws protecting asbestos removal workers from the deadly substance were too “voluminous and complex” to enforce by safety regulator Work Safe BC. A 10 October story in the Mirror Business newspaper first revealed a ban scheduled for 2018 had now been pushed back to 2024, after Russia warned the ban could damage relations between the countries. The member, whose name has not been released, was exposed to asbestos in the 1960s and 1970s because a series of employers did not follow well-established workplace safety standards on preventing asbestos exposure or conduct proper risk assessments.
The charge came after a bid to add chrysotile asbestos – the only form of the cancer-causing fibre still traded – to the Rotterdam Convention’s list of the most hazardous substances was blocked for a sixth time. needs a zero tolerance approach to this deadly material.” Unions NSW news release. A retired chef died as a result of an ‘industrial disease’ caused by exposure to asbestos on her mechanic husband’s work clothes, an inquest has concluded. Kathleen Bennett, who died of the asbestos cancer mesothelioma aged 66 in May 2015, taught at the St Thomas of Canterbury Middle School during the 1970s and 80s, and has received a compensation settlement of £250,000. David Briggs, who runs Bury-based Briggs Demolition, was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison by district judge Nicholas Sanders at a hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court. Thompsons Solicitors news release • Risks 666 • The next Labour government must ensure there is a full audit of asbestos in schools, public sector union UNISON has said.